Police officers routinely engage DUI task forces to clear the streets of drunk drivers. Especially during the holiday season, teams of cops increase patrols to sweep the streets of impaired drivers. Law enforcement are not the only ones trying to keep the streets clean. However, bad things happen when other people take the wheel to clean the streets while under the influence.
On the first of the year, a street sweeper driver was arrested on drunk driving charges. Jerry Mitchell, 48, of Brooklyn, New York was observed driving erratically on the highway. Police say Mitchell was driving eastbound on the Long Island Southern State Parkway when they tried to pull him over. Despite driving a street sweeper, Mitchell tried to flee at a top speed of about 35 miles per hour. Police caught up with the driver, and he surrendered.
Mitchell's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was tested at twice the legal limit. He has been charged with aggravated DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation. According to police, Mitchell was supposed to be cleaning parking lots in Brooklyn, but said he wanted to get candy, and ended up getting lost. Needless to say, this was probably not on his list of new year's resolutions.
Although sometimes it is the street sweeper who is the victim in a DUI accident. In New Jersey, a man was charged with a DUI after his car hit a street sweeper. In Billings, Montana a woman was sentenced for a DUI after her car crashed into a street sweeper. Alisha Lee Castro, 20, was handed down a five-year suspended sentence for felony criminal endangerment for her DUI and driving without insurance. Castro's Ford Taurus struck the back of a street sweeper, and then hit another vehicle stopped at a light, resulting in minor injuries for four people involved. Castro had apparently attended a couple parties the night before, then drove home because she could not find a ride.
In one case in Delaware, it was not a street sweeper involved, but rather a dump truck involved in a DUI accident. Andrew Trala, 50, was arrested after he crashed a dump truck in Rehoboth, Delaware. Trala apparently lost control of the vehicle, which overturned onto the shoulder of the road. Trala decided he shouldn't stick around to clean up the mess, and fled the scene. He was eventually found at a nearby inn, and taken into custody.
Now Trala faces charges of DUI, leaving the scene of a property damage collision, driving while suspended or revoked, driving a commercial vehicle without an endorsement, escaping contents, and other charges. Unfortunately for Trala, he is no stranger to DUI charges. He has four prior DUI convictions dating back to 1992.
Surprisingly, the man in Delaware is not the only multiple DUI driver caught driving drunk in a dump truck. One man in Rhode Island was pulled over for his fourth DUI while driving a dump truck. The twist in his story is that his four DUIs all fell within a 30 hour period.
John Lourenco, 53, crashed his Dodge truck with his two young daughters in the back, who were later taken to a hospital. After he was released with a DUI summons, he crashed his Chevy, showing a BAC of 0.22 percent. Shortly after, he was pulled over by police while driving a Plymouth, and issued a third DUI summons. Looking for one more ride, he took to his dump truck, and ended up crashing into a tree, securing his fourth DUI in a day and a half.