MichaelRay

Michael Ray, a country music singer from Eustis who had a No.1 country hit in 2015 and is making a name for himself in Nashville, was arrested early Wednesday outside a McDonald’s for driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana, according to an arrest report.

The 29-year-old, whose song “Kiss You in the Morning” soared to the top of the Billboard Country Airplay charts, was arrested about 4 a.m. by Eustis police after he crashed into the car in front of him at the McDonald’s drive-through on Bay Street, the report said. He was arrested under his legal name, Michael Ray Roach.

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Ray
Michael Ray, of Eustis, performs at the Eustis High School pep rally on Thursday, October 25, 2012. (Orlando Sentinel File)
Driving a 2012 Jeep Wrangler, “Michael said he was in the drive thru and his foot slipped off the pedal causing him to hit the back” of a 2016 blue Scion in front of him, the report said.
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“While speaking to Michael I noticed he had blood shot eyes, slurred speech, he stumbled while walking and smelled of alcohol… he said he was coming from a bar in Tavares,” the arresting officer said in the report.

The driver and passenger of the Scion both told police they were sitting in the drive-through when Ray’s vehicle hit them from behind at about 3:30 a.m.

“Everybody makes mistakes,” Erin Haynes, 27, the driver of the Scion, told the Sentinel. She declined further comment.

Ray performed several alcohol sobriety tests and performed poorly, the report said.

When police told Ray to walk in a straight line and turn around, the singer lifted his hands up “to balance” and “to stop from falling over,” the report said.

He was then told to stand on one leg, but police said Ray had to put his second foot down four times in 12 seconds.

Finally, police said Ray performed successfully on the “finger and nose” test and did not consent to a breathalyzer test.

When police searched Ray and found a glass bottle on him with a brown liquid inside, Ray told police, “that’s weed oil” and that it belonged to him.

Ray was released from the Lake County Jail on a $6,000 bond.

Ray, a 2006 graduate of Blue Lake Academy in Eustis, has been a rising star since winning The CW network’s televised music competition “The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep” in 2012. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut in 2015.

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That year, he told the Sentinel his interest in music began with his father, grandfather and uncles, who were in a band. On a camping trip when he was 9, Ray watched his family pick the guitars around the campfire and decided he wanted to be a part of it.

“I continued playing every weekend with my grandfather and groups he was in,” he said.

His publicist didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Ray returned to Central Florida from Nashville to perform in concert Nov. 25 at the House of Blues in Disney Springs.

He was scheduled to play at 9 p.m. Friday at 1884 Restaurant and Bar in Eustis, but in a Facebook post announced the appearance has been canceled.