David Zlokas, a 64-year-old resident of Apartment 317 at the Surf Club condominiums on State Road A1A north of the Hammock, turned himself in and was booked at the Flagler County jail Wednesday (Aug. 29) on a drunk-driving-manslaughter charge, a second degree felony, for the death of Gary St. Peter, 67, in a car crash on Nov. 2 within view of the condominiums.
Zlokas was at the wheel of a Ford Mustang. St. Peter was his passenger. The two had been at a restaurant in Flagler Beach earlier, and were driving home. Zlokas, according to a Florida Highway Patrol investigation, was going at 80 mpg in a 50 mph zone when he failed to negotiate a curve to his left. The Mustang careened off the road and down an embankment, rolling and uprooting a tree along the way and crashing against more brush before slamming into two trees. The passenger side was especially damaged. St. Peter had been wearing a seat belt.
Zlokas’s blood-alcohol level tested at 0.154. The legal limit in Florida is 0.08. He was also injured, but not seriously.
“David Zlokas actions caused this traffic crash to occur,” his arrest report states, “which resulted in the death of Gary St. Peter and property damage to two palm trees.”
A second degree felony on conviction carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, with a minimum mandatory sentence of four years in prison. Zlokas also had also face a first-degree misdemeanor DUI with property damage charge, and a second-degree misdemeanor for drunk driving. When the State Attorney’s Office ratified the charges today (Aug. 31), the latter charge was dropped.
Zlokas was booked in at the jail at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, He’d bonded out an hour later, posting $50,000 bail.
The criminal charge is not his only immediate legal consequence. On April 17, Gary St. Peter’s wife, Janice St. Peter, representing her husband’s estate, sued Zlokas as well as Uncaged Tasting Room LLC, the company owned by Carolyn Mathis of Palm Coast, at whose restaurant and wine bar the suit states Zlokas and Gary St. Pierre had been drinking before the crash.
Janice St. Peter is claiming damages over $15,000 under a wrongful death suit, including funeral expenses and the prospective loss of income from her husband’s death. She subsequently filed a claim listing total recoverable damages as exceeding $25 million. Zlokas, in his answer to the suit, declined to respond to all salient claims, invoking his Fifth Amendment right not to self-incriminate. He is being represented by Brett Little of Gainesville. He repeated the invocation in subsequent answers to additional requests except for a motion to stay the civil proceedings pending the conclusion of the highway patrol’s investigation “and possible prosecution” of Zlokas. St. Peter opposed the motion on Aug. 2.
The following day the parties received notice of an October hearing where the stay will be argued. The hearings are scheduled before Circuit Judge Terence Perkins in Courtroom 401 at the Flagler County courthouse on Oct. 23, starting at 10:30 a.m.
Uncaged Tasting Room–an establishment at 3214 Meridian Home Lane in the Hammock, just north of Bing’s Landing, off A1A. In the lawsuit’s count against Uncaged, Janice St. Peter is claiming that the restaurant and bar and its servers personally “knew Zlokas was habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages,” and “negligently and unreasonably sold” alcohol to him.
Concerned Citizen says
So he gets to bond out on a manslaughter charge? Meanwhile his passenger is 6 feet under and isn’t going home to eat supper with his family. It never ceases to amaze me that people commit serious crimes then get to bond out and proceed with their daily activities.
I hope the widow sues him and the establishment that kept serving even after he was clearly intoxicated. And takes them for everything..154 isn’t just a little tipsy and establishments serving alcohol are required to monitor customers and stop serving when they’ve had to much.
As a former LEO and as someone who lost a girlfriend to being hit by a Drunk Driver I have no sympathy to someone who drives drunk. DUI is a choice not a mistake. You made the choice to get drunk then get behind the wheel of a car. Now you get to deal with the consequences.
Idiot call for a ride or better yet stay home
Mary Fusco says
This guy obviously has a real problem but why did the passenger voluntarily get in a car with someone who drunk. This man was a grown adult, not a child, who could have called his wife or a cab to pick him up. This is a tragedy but there is blame all around. Why don’t people just stay home to drink.
In all fairness ,just like this man decided to drive drunk, his adult passenger got in the car knowing he was drunk. It’s both their fault.
As far as bond goes, did you knw California jus did away with bond and bail money. There is no bail on lower crimes,u can jus walk, and if your crime is serious and you are threat to skip out or endanger others, you stay locked up, doesn’t matter how rich you are..hehehe
A Concerned Observer says
I feel sorry for Ms. Chetem and her loss, but this sounds to me that she is looking for a big payday with the self-centered assistance of the law firm of “Dewey, Cheatem & Howe”. I agree with other commenters that Gary St. Peter was an adult, that he entered the car of his free will. He was not driving, so as far as I believe, the bar was in no way responsible to Mr. Chetem’s estate for his death. But, there is little to be won in a lawsuit of the driver in this case. Lawyers and greedy get-rich-quick plaintiffs ALWAYS go for the deepest pockets. I can only hope the judge or jury in this case exhibits a modicum of common sense in this case. I blame the personal injury law firms and their “No fee unless you collect” policy for this all too common practice.
Born and Raised Here says
This guy is 64 years old and allow to drive a super charged Mustang. Way to much car for such an elderly man. Sounds like the car got away from him. His reflexes, reaction time at his age and alcohol can’t handle this car.
my 2 cents says
Decisions rest in the hands of the court. God has final judgment. Let man not assume otherwise.
A1A resident says
The St. Peter’s are founders and supporters of the foundation, Angel Planes. They fly sick children and their parents to hospitals that can provide the care needed. I doubt it is about the money. Or if it is, it might possibly go to a good cause.
Blame it on everything (car) and everyone else (bar servers) except for the perp who was totally drunk along with his drinking partner who most likely was totally drunk also and died in the accident. Every vehicle should be equipped with a device that if anyone in the front of the car is under the influence of alcohol it is totally disabled for 24 hours and cannot be bypassed in ANY way shape or form.
A thought says
Boys and their toys, don’t own a car that your can’t drive responsibly. The place that served both of them, needs to have their liquor license removed. You play, you pay.
Type two sugar says
This would be a good thing if it could determine the glucose in sugar because if you have a high sugar it will make the thing read wrong
That’s what happened to me when I didn’t even have a drink 🥃 a and got charged with a DUI
And couldn’t find anyone to fight the state but it’s a good try
Everyone just needs to learn when to much is to much and be responsible
Breathalyzers in all cars would end these tragedies. But that would be bad for business.