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Florida Panhandle Nurse Practitioner Coalition

Tallahassee doctor facing DUI charge

Posted almost 9 years ago by Stanley F Whittaker


By Iricka Berlinger • DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER • February 11, 2010

Dr. Thomas Bixler, a noted cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, was released from the Wakulla County Jail on Wednesday after being arrested Tuesday night on a DUI charge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Bixler, 62, was pulled over at 8:06 p.m. on U.S. 98 in Panacea for speeding, said Capt. Mark Welch, spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol. Bixler was reported to have been going 51 mph in a 35 mph zone.

A trooper suspected Bixler had been drinking and gave Bixler a field sobriety test, determining his alcohol blood content level was .285, which is more than three times above the legal limit, Welch said.

Bixler was released on $500 bail at 10:48 a.m. A court date has been set for March 4.

Warren Jones, spokesman for TMH, said Bixler has been placed on administrative leave in his private practice. Under this status Bixler will not be able to admit patients or perform any procedures in the hospital, Jones said.

Tallahassee attorney Tim Jansen will be representing Bixler.

"We will be fighting these charges," Jansen said.

Since April 2008, Bixler has focused his practice on the care of patients in the Valdosta, Ga., area and has not been actively engaged in treating patients at Tallahassee Memorial, Jones said. The Tallahassee Memorial Hospital emergency center is named for Bixler's late father, the hospital's first emergency room physician.

In 2007, Bixler pleaded no contest in Wakulla County court to charges of resisting an officer without violence and leaving the scene of an accident in connection with an earlier fender bender. He was sentenced to one year of probation and was ordered to pay restitution to the man whose truck he hit while leaving Angelo's restaurant.