A car-full of Japanese tourists started a DUI chase in Southern Utah that ended with police officers stopping the vehicle and pulling the driver out by gunpoint, reports The Washington Post. The driver was not drunk.
The chase started at 1:00 AM on Saturday -- a peak time for drunk driving -- near the border of Utah and Arizona. A highway patrolman noticed the vehicle traveling only 37 mph on the highway and swerving lanes, all signs of impaired driving. As the patrolman followed the car and turned on his lights and siren to pull the driver over, the driver sped up.
The driver drove erratically on the highway weaving across lanes and onto the shoulder. More patrol officers joined the chase and tire spikes were set up. Finally, after hitting the spikes, the vehicle slowed down and came to a stop seven miles after the chase initially started. To their surprise, the officers did not find rowdy drunks in the car, but instead a Japanese woman emerged with her husband and seven-year-old son.
The tourist got out the car and faced officers who had their guns drawn. She could not follow the officers' orders due to the language barrier and just walked back and forth and spun around until the authorities eventually realized she was terrified and had no idea what was going on.
Only after finding another Utah patrolman who could speak Japanese (all the way in Northern Utah), did the authorities figure out that the woman had no idea what to do when tailed by a police officer. She said she sped up and tried to get out the way to let the officers pass. After the confusion was cleared up, the authorities let the family go and said that they did not plan to press charges.
Authorities are not always so nice in letting a suspected drunk driver go. If you believe that you have been wrongly accused of the crime in the Seattle area, you should work with a DUI defense attorney. You may have a valid reason to explain your driving or even a failed field sobriety test that has nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. Contact the attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense by calling 425-284-2000 to learn how we can help you.