Police officers will go to extreme lengths to apprehend and detain a suspect. As we have all seen police chase footage on reality shows or the news, it is not uncommon for police to engage in high-speed chases–even across state lines.
In a recent case, officers pursued a suspect for 57 miles and through two states and multiple counties at high speeds. The pursuit, which started as a garden variety traffic stop, ended with an Alabama arrest and DUI charge. According to reports, the 37-year-old driver was pulled over in Pensacola, Florida and stopped when a female passenger opened the door. When the officer ran to catch the passenger, she jumped back in the vehicle and the driver hit the gas and peeled out, allegedly nearly hitting the deputy. The deputy had already called for backup as he began the pursuit of the red Ford pickup.
Any DUI allegation or other criminal charge will carry additional penalties for defendants who try to flee the scene. In addition to underlying drunk driving charges, suspects can also face charges for evading an officer or reckless driving, charges that will become more severe in the event of an accident or injury. Our BirminghamDUI attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals who have been charged with DUI in Alabama. In addition to providing strategic advocacy and counsel to those charged with drunk driving, we are also committed to raising awareness and staying abreast of drunk-driving cases throughout the region.
Police reports allege that the driver and the passenger switched places in the vehicle as it swerved down the street. Other motorists on the road reported that they were forced out of the way to prevent a collision. The police chase continued until truck approached the Alabama state line and deputies from Atmore, Alabama joined the pursuit. According to police statements, the pickup continued on at high-speeds and nearly struck two police vehicles before it blew out its front tires. After a near 57 mile chase, the truck came to a rest in a cotton field after driving 2 miles on the blown out tires.
The driver and his passenger were arrested at the scene and booked in Escambia County, Alabama. They were then transferred to Santa Rosa County, the original jurisdiction. Onee driver is facing serious charges, including fleeing and eluding an officer, driving without a license, and assaulting an officer. The other is facing DUI, fleeing and eluding, and four counts of assaulting an officer. Collectively, these charges could amount to severe penalties including fines, jail time, and a damaging criminal record. The suspects will face charges and penalties in state of Florida even though they were arrested in Alabama.
When pulled over for suspected drunk driving, your best option is to be respectful of officers and comply with requests, though you do have the right to refuse a breathalyzer. Drivers should understand the full legal consequences of any action and consult with an experienced advocate to defeat charges and reduce penalties.