Family drive ends in DUI and vehicle towed

SAFFORD – Last Saturday at approximately 10:30 pm, a Safford police officer passed a vehicle that failed to dim their lights on 1st Avenue. The officer turned around and caught up to the vehicle at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Highway 70. The vehicle was stopped in the right turn lane with its bumper in the crosswalk. When the light turn green, the car continued north on 1st Avenue instead of turning right onto Highway 70. The officer followed the vehicle through the intersection and conducted a traffic stop. After the vehicle came to a stop the rear windshield wiper was activated and continued until the officer had the driver shut it off at a later time during the stop.

The officer identified the male driver and his two adult daughters who were passengers. When the officer asked the man to exit the vehicle, he was observed reaching through the window to pull on the door handle from the outside. However, in doing so, the man was unknowingly re-locking the door with his arm. The officer helped the man exit the vehicle. The man was apparently having trouble with his balance and the smell of alcohol was present on the man’s breath. When asked, the man stated he had two cans of beer to drink just prior to leaving his daughter’s house. After being asked to take a series of tests and a breath test with the result of .190, the man was placed under arrest for DUI.

The officer noticed two open cans of alcohol still cold to the touch and when asked who they belonged to, the two passengers claimed ownership. While the officer removed the containers, the smell of marijuana was present. When asked, one of the female passengers stated she had a small amount of marijuana in her bag. After locating the substance she was cited for having an open container in a motor vehicle, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The other female passenger received a citation for open container in a motor vehicle, and they were both released from the scene. Because none of the occupants were able to find anyone to pick up the vehicle, it was towed.

The male driver was then transported to the Safford Police Department to have his blood drawn and be fingerprinted. After the paperwork was completed, the man was transported to his residence. Charges are still pending.