Man admits to driving drunk after crash

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM COUNTY – It must be refreshing for an officer to hear a suspect just admit to drinking a 12-pack of beer and being drunk behind the wheel instead of the customary, “I only had two beers and was fine.”

On March 18, multiple officers from the Safford Police Department, Graham County Sheriff’s Office and Arizona Department of Public Safety responded at about 10:27 p.m. to a single-vehicle crash at Copper Canyon Drive and U. S. Highway 70.

Upon arrival, authorities located a truck with its front end in a ditch. The driver, Gary Anderson, 42, of Thatcher, allegedly admitted to imbibing in alcohol by drinking six beers at the Mount Graham Golf Course before driving to the river and drinking four more beers and capping the day off by downing two more beers at the Bull Pen bar at 912 W. Thatcher Blvd. Anderson was questioned by Safford officers at the scene relating to a private property collision at the Bull Pen earlier that evening when it is believed he struck a parked vehicle.

Anderson allegedly told a deputy that he was driving while intoxicated and that there was no need to conduct any sobriety tests because he was, without a doubt, drunk.

The officer gave Anderson a field sobriety test anyway, and after Anderson failed he was promptly arrested for DUI. A phlebotomist with DPS then took a sample of Anderson’s blood for testing and he was released to his girlfriend. Charges are pending lab test results of Anderson’s blood.