Ron Book crashes Lamborghini while driving drunk, troopers say

Tallahassee lobbyist smelled of alcohol, failed field sobriety test, report says

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Prominent Tallahassee lobbyist Ron Book crashed his Lamborghini sports car late Sunday while driving drunk along Interstate 595 in Davie, authorities said.

Book, 66, faces charges of driving under the influence and refusing to submit to a DUI test.

According to the arrest report, Book was traveling west on I-595 near Nob Hill Road when his Lamborghini collided with a Ford Focus, causing the Focus to flip over.

Deryk Rivera, the driver of the Focus, said he was driving home from a movie when his car was struck from behind.

"Out of nowhere, I got hit from the back and I ended up rolling three times right into a concrete barrier," Rivera said. "Next thing I know, I'm hanging upside down inside the car with the seat belt still attached."

Rivera said there were at least two good Samaritans who pulled over after the crash, called 911 and offered comfort. He said he would like to know who they are to thank them for helping him.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers said Book smelled of alcohol when they interviewed him and he gave inconsistent statements about the crash.

Book said the Focus cut him off to the right, but investigators said the damage doesn't back that up.

The report said Book agreed to take a field-sobriety test, but when a trooper instructed Book to walk in a straight line, touching toe to heel, Book had trouble maintaining his balance.

After he was arrested, Book refused to take a Breathalyzer test.

Book was released Monday from Broward County's main jail in Fort Lauderdale after he posted a $1,500 bond.

"I had a car accident," Book said as he walked out of the jail.

Prominent Tallahassee lobbyist Ron Book was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Broward County.

When asked by Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos about the DUI charges, Book said he has cancer and was taking a number of medications.

Book is a lobbyist who splits his time between Tallahassee and his home in South Florida. He is the chairman of Lauren's Kids, a nonprofit devoted to preventing sex abuse through education and awareness.

He is the father of state Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation.

Rivera said he has pain in his lower back and his ribs, but he was not seriously hurt.

"I just can't believe I was in that and I survived," Rivera said.

About the Authors:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.