Around 1 a.m. on Oct. 27, the Utah Highway Patrol received a call about a vehicle driving the wrong way on Interstate 80. When troopers found the vehicle, a chase ensued. By the time the incident was over, the driver of the pickup truck was in custody for DUI and evading police.
According to the Utah Highway Patrol, the pickup truck was traveling eastbound on the westbound side of the interstate. Troopers set up spike strips on the west side of the interstate after closing off the lanes to traffic. As the pickup approached the spike strips, troopers believe the driver purposely avoided the strips and veered across the median into the eastbound lanes.
The troopers continued to pursue the vehicle and tried once again to stop it with spike strips. The pickup swerved to avoid them and hit a police car in the process. Another cruiser finally stopped the vehicle. Troopers say the driver then ran into a water-filled canal where he was found about 10 minutes later.
Why the man fled from the troopers is not yet known. Authorities came to the conclusion that it was because he was impaired. It will take more evidence than the fact that the man failed to stop for troopers to prove that he was impaired at the time. No information was given regarding whether field sobriety tests, a breath test or a blood test was done.
Despite the fact that the man reportedly fled from police, he retains the right to defend himself against both the DUI and evading charges. It will be up to the court to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support those charges. Even if the evading charge can be proved, it does not necessarily prove that the driver was impaired.
Source: fox13now.com, Man found hiding in canal after chase on I-80, Tiffany DeMasters, Oct. 27, 2013