Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol / Liquor OWI
Just after 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18, an officer from the Oakland University Police Department (OUPD) was contacted by deputies from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office in reference to a vehicle they’d seen veer off of the south side of Walton Boulevard. The deputies had watched as the Red Chevy Equinox made several turns before landing in the ditch upon the third one, leaving a trail of tire tracks marking the trajectory followed before getting trapped in the mud.
While roads were slick and shoulders slushy beneath the lightly falling snow at the time of the incident, the OUPD officer noticed rather immediately upon arrival that the driver’s slurred speech, clumsy movements and glassy, red eyes suggested a different factor at play. The driver was buckled into his seat and donned a disposable mask, responding to inquiries regarding his alcohol intake with claims that he’d consumed two drinks approximately thirty minutes to an hour prior.
As the driver was diabetic, the Auburn Hills Fire Department was called to the scene for a medical evaluation, determining his blood sugar level to be within normal range at 79. The driver struggled to maintain balance, nearly falling over and necessitating assistance when asked to walk up to the ambulance for further evaluation. He denied transportation to the hospital, showing no signs of a head injury and proceeding to take a preliminary breath test which determined his Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) to be .15.
Due to unsafe road conditions, the driver was then transported to the OUPD — approximately .6 miles south of the site of the incident — for Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) within the department’s lobby/booking area, where cameras were present and the test could be recorded. Following the test’s exposure of the driver’s horizontal gaze nystagmus, inability to retain balance during the walk and turn/one leg stand, and repetition of a number during a counting activity he’d been able to complete the first portion of, another breath test registered a BAC of .13 at 9:27 pm. The driver was then photographed and fingerprinted before being transported to Oakland County Jail.