Safford police officers made three DUI arrests between December 14th and 15th.
December 14, 2018 – 4:15 AM
A Safford Police officer was en-route to a medical call on Main Street when he came across a Chevy truck stopped in the middle of the road in the 1100 block of Central Avenue. The brake lights on the vehicle were activated. The officer stopped and approached the truck. As he approached he could see a male driver slumped over and asleep. The truck was running and the driver’s foot was on the brake. The door was was locked.
The officer knocked on the window, which caused the man to stir a little and take his foot off the brake. The truck started to roll down the road and the officer banged on the driver’s side window to wake the driver up, but he was unresponsive. The officer ran back to his patrol vehicle and activated his lights and siren in an effort to wake the man up, but the truck still kept rolling northbound down the road. It swerved to the right, struck the curb and rolled back into the street. It continued to roll haplessly down the street and almost struck the cement wall over the canal bridge. The truck ultimately went over the curb and into the dirt between the sidewalk and the road. The driver then put the truck in reverse and tried to back up. The officer yelled for him to stop. The man stopped the truck and got out and almost fell to the ground.
The officer approached and placed him in handcuffs. The officer noted a distinct alcoholic odor emanating from the driver. There was a can of Miller Lite in the middle console of the truck next to a half-eaten burrito. The driver’s speech was reportedly slurred, his eyes were bloodshot and he had urinated on himself. He apparently told the officer that he was on his way home.
The man told the officer that he had consumed 4 to 5 beers but due to his inability to keep his balance the officer did not conduct a field sobriety test. He asked the officer if he could just get back in his truck and drive himself home. Instead, the man’s truck was towed from the scene.
After completing a blood draw at the police station the man was given a ride home, which was not far from where he was found asleep in his truck in the middle of the road.
December 15, 2018 – 12:54 AM – Intoxicated Man Picks up Friend from Bar
An officer on patrol on the 1200 block of 8th Avenue was passed by a green pickup traveling south that did not have any tail lights or license plate light. The officer turned around and pulled up behind the vehicle. As the truck approached the stop sign at Relation Street and 8th Avenue it crossed the stop bar with both front tires before coming to a complete stop.
The officer activated his emergency lights as the truck made a right hand turn onto Relation Street from 8th Avenue. The truck continued for two blocks before coming to a complete stop.
The officer made contact with the driver and noticed there was a female passenger and a man laying down behind her. At first it appeared that he was trying to hide, but the officer soon learned that he was intoxicated and passed out. The driver told the officer that he had picked up the man and woman from the American Club because they had called him for a ride. According to the police report the driver smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot, watery eyes and his speech was slurred and mumbled.
The officer asked the driver to exit the vehicle and the officer noted that he was staggering and unable to stand upright without swaying. The driver failed a field sobriety test and portable breath test registered 0.2. The driver was placed under arrest and handcuffed. The officer searched him and found a small, half empty Crown Royal shooter bottle in the man’s jacket pocket.
The man was taken to the Safford Police station where his blood was drawn and he was released.
December 15, 2018 – 9:50 PM – Man on Prescription Meds Arrested for DUI
A Safford police officer was driving east on Highway 70, approaching the intersection of 8th Avenue when he observed a sedan that was stopped in the continuous left turn lane about 50 feet from the intersection. An SUV, approaching the scene made a last second evasive maneuver in order to avoid hitting the vehicle stopped in the turn lane. According to the police report, the SUV was traveling too fast for an approach to the turn lane.
The officer pulled behind the SUV and was going to conduct a traffic stop after SUV made it through the turn. The light turned green but the SUV didn’t move. It cycled to red, then green again, but the SUV still didn’t move, even after the officer behind the SUV honked twice. When the Green Arrow turned red again, the officer activated his emergency lights and approached the driver’s side of the SUV. The driver rolled down his window and acknowledged the officer. The officer noted that the man had bloodshot eyes and his eyelids were drooping. The man’s speech was reportedly slurred as he told the officer that he did not see the light change. The officer instructed the man to turn left onto 8th Avenue and pull over when the light turned green. The officer had to honk his horn before the driver of the SUV made the turn and pulled over to the side of the road.
As the officer approached the vehicle, the hatch of the SUV opened. The driver had apparently hit the button while looking for his registration. The man’s movements were slow and fumbling as he got his driver’s license out of his wallet. The man said that he had not been drinking and initially denied taking any medications. The officer pointed out the symptoms he was seeing in the man and again asked if he had taken any medications. The man then admitted to taking muscle relaxers and Ambien. He told the officer that he had taken the medication three hours ago.
After failing a field sobriety test the man was placed under arrest and transported to the Safford Police Department. At the station the man apparently told authorities that he had been to a basketball game at EAC and took the medications before heading home. The man submitted to a blood draw and was released.