THATCHER — On Monday evening, Feb. 10, a motorist who reportedly nearly caused a head-on collision with a Safford Police vehicle was arrested for driving under the influence.
According to a Safford Police report, a Safford officer was westbound on Highway 70, in the vicinity of Taco Bell, when a sedan traveling east in the turn lane swerved into the officer’s lane. The officer reportedly avoided a head-on crash by partially veering into the outside lane; the sedan then got back into the turn lane.
The officer conducted a traffic stop of the sedan in the Taco Bell parking lot. According to the report, the driver, identified as Frank Chavez, showed signs of intoxication. Two weeks earlier, Chavez was reportedly found passed out in his vehicle outside a local car wash.
Chavez allegedly denied drinking at first, then admitted having two beers. After he failed a field sobriety test (additional tests were not conducted out of concern for Chavez’s safety, according to the report), he was arrested for DUI. Chavez reportedly refused to get into the officer’s vehicle but was eventually convinced.
Chavez then complained of knee and back pain, and the officer took him to Mount Graham Regional Medical Center. Chavez reportedly refused to provide a blood sample; the officer then obtained and served an electronic warrant. During the officer’s absence, however, Chavez reportedly changed his mind and consented to the sample.
According to the police report, Chavez’s driver’s license was suspended for implied consent refusal. When asked if he was aware of this, Chavez allegedly did not reply. He was then released to the care of the hospital.