Drunken drivers keep police busy on St. Patrick’s Day

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 26, 2013

Arrests were up for Troy police this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Officers arrested 16 people for drunken and impaired driving, four for shoplifting, four for drug charges, and 10 for felony and misdemeanor charges — for a total of 34 arrests the weekend of March 16-17.

On an average weekend, police make a total of 20 arrests for all charges, Troy police Sgt. Andy Breidenich said. 

A 23-year-old Jerome, Mich., man was arrested just after 10:30 p.m. March 16 after reportedly turning left from Maple onto southbound Livernois against traffic that had a green light. Police said he blew a 0.25 blood-alcohol level on a breath test.

Police received a report that a vehicle was weaving lanes on I-75 near, Maple, then ran off on the shoulder just before 5:30 p.m. March 17. The driver left the vehicle and fled the scene on foot, according to witnesses. Officers located the driver, a 49-year-old Troy man, on a residential street east of Rochester. He reportedly admitted to police he was drunk and had consumed six beers at a bar. He was not injured, according to reports. Police said he failed sobriety tests, and officers found marijuana in his pocket. He reportedly blew a 0.11 on a breath test, and was arrested for drunken driving, marijuana possession and failure to stop at an accident. 

Police were called to the Crooks and Maplelawn area to assist with traffic at the scene of an apartment fire just before 9 p.m. March 17. Police said a Chrysler sedan struck a police squad car and a police SUV, both of which had activated emergency lights. The officers had positioned their vehicles to block all northbound Crooks traffic. Both officers were temporarily trapped in their police vehicles and got out through side windows. The at-fault driver, a 42-year-old Troy man, reportedly told police he had seen the police vehicles, but thought one lane was open to traffic. Police said he had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes and smelled strongly of intoxicants. He failed sobriety tests, had very poor balance and blew a 0.19 on a breath test, according to reports. He was arrested for drunken driving. The officers were taken to a local hospital and were treated and released for minor injuries sustained in the crash.

A witness called police to report a motorist erratically driving and stopping on Rochester Road at 11:15 p.m. March 17. The witness gave police the suspect license plate and a description of the vehicle. Officers found the vehicle resting against a home after striking it, damaging the siding,. Police learned it was the home of the driver, who was lying across the console of his vehicle, asleep, according to reports. The 30-year-old Troy man reportedly had red, glassy eyes and slurred speech, and smelled strongly of intoxicants. Police said he performed poorly on sobriety tests and was arrested for drunken driving.

“With lower staffing levels, officers acted very professionally making arrests over that weekend,” Breidenich said. “There was a lot going on.”