Woman driving under the influence involved in collision but not found at fault

SAFFORD – On Friday night around 9:45 pm, at the intersection of Highway 70 and 8th Avenue, police arrived on the scene of a traffic accident where two vehicles had collided. Upon arrival, police found a Polaris Razor on its side in the parking lot of Austin’s Auto Advantage and a sedan disabled in the intersection. The officer blocked the sedan with his patrol car. As he exited his vehicle the officer was approached by a man who said that the three female occupants of the Razor were intoxicated and had hidden some beer cans in the parking lot before police arrived.

A witness said that the Razor was speeding through the intersection and the sedan was was in the intersection waiting to make a left turn. The sedan reportedly had a green turn arrow before the accident occurred. The driver of the Sedan also reported approaching the intersection with a green arrow to make a left hand turn, and when she started to make the turn, the second vehicle came into the intersection and she struck the vehicle.

When an officer spoke with the driver of the Razor, she reported the light was green for her to go and when she was entering the intersection, the other vehicle struck her, knocking her vehicle onto its side. The officer noticed the driver had an alcoholic odor coming from her breath as she spoke. The driver admitted to hiding the beer cans that had been in the vehicle.

The officer asked the driver of the Razor how much she had to drink. She responded that she was fine. When asked again, she admitted that she had one beer earlier but had “stopped a long time ago.” The officer noted that the driver was chewing gum and drinking water and that her eyes were blood shot and watery.

When the officer spoke with witnesses, it was reported that after the cars collided, the front passenger of the Razor had her hair stuck underneath a side bar to the vehicle. They had to lift the vehicle up to get her out. The woman refused medical treatment from Lifeline Ambulance, but was later seen at the emergency room for a possible head injury.

The driver of the Razor was field tested for sobriety. After administering walking and balance tests the officer asked if the driver would submit to a portable breath test. She refused. The officer placed her under arrest and escorted her to the police station. She refused to consent to a blood draw so a warrant was obtained and her blood was drawn. The woman was picked up by her mother.  A DUI case is pending blood results.

At 8:00 the next morning, the officer went to the auto shop to retrieve video footage of the collision from the security camera. On the video, the officer could see the traffic signal turned yellow right before both vehicles enter the intersection. The Razor was further in the intersection right before the sedan struck it. The traffic signal was still yellow at the time of the collision.  Based upon the damage and the video reviewed, the officer concluded that the cause of this collision was that the driver of the sedan failed to yield right of way while making a left hand turn in the intersection.