Safford police were notified of an erratic driver on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at approximately 6:00 p.m. The vehicle was described as a blue Dodge pickup traveling northbound on 1st Avenue just past 32nd Street. A short time later, an officer traveling eastbound on Highway 70 saw the blue Dodge pickup make a left turn from 1st Avenue onto Highway 70. When the Dodge made the turn, the officer noticed a wide turn radius and the vehicle did not turn into the inner lane. The Dodge then made a right turn onto 2nd Avenue. When it came to a stop sign at 4th Street the Dodge failed to stop before the white stop bar.
The officer initiated a traffic stop and the Dodge stopped in the parking lot of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. As the officer approached the Dodge, the driver lit a cigarette. The officer noted that the driver had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred, mumbled speech. The officer asked the man if he had consumed any alcohol and the man stated that he had consumed a heavy amount of alcohol the night before but had stopped drinking at midnight.
The officer asked the man to get out of his truck and perform some field sobriety tests. The driver smelled of alcohol and after performing poorly on the initial sobriety test he asked the officer to cut him a break because he was driving to the church to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
After failing more sobriety tests the officer asked if the man would submit to a portable breath test. The man told the officer that he thought it “would probably be bad.” He told the officer that he feared it would be above the legal limit. The officer asked the man again if he would take the breath test. He replied with, “let’s just go to jail.”
The officer placed the man under arrest and transported him to the Safford Police Station, where the man consented to a blood draw. The man was released from custody and charges are pending the results of the blood draw.