Posted by Travis Uresk | April 17th, 2023 | DUI |
By Travis Uresk
Vernal, Ut.- On 4/8/23, Cpl. Johnstun was dispatched to McDonalds in Vernal on a welfare check. Dispatch advised him that a male was asleep in the driver's seat of a white Ford truck in the drive-thru line of the business.
The Cpl. Parked in the parking lot, approached the truck, and saw that the driver's head was down. As he got closer, the driver sat up in his seat.
Cpl. Johnstun approached the passenger side window, which was already down, and made contact with the vehicle's sole occupant. The driver was identified as 22-year-old Ian Michael Dewitt.
Johnstun asked Ian if he had been sleeping, and he said he was not. Cpl. Johnstun could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from Ian’s breath when he spoke. There was an open beer can in the cup holder next to Ian. The beer can was removed and was partially full.
Ian admitted to driving from his residence to McDonalds.
Ian was asked if he should be driving, and he stated he should not. Ian stated he drank two beers and was trying to get some food. Ian was asked to step out of the truck, and when he did, he had poor balance, and his speech was slurred.
Cpl. Johnston asked Ian to submit to field sobriety tests.
-On the HGN test, I noted a lack of smooth pursuit, distinct and sustained nystagmus, and onset prior to 45 degrees in both eyes.
-On the Nine Step test, Ian could not keep his balance during the instruction stage, stopped walking, stepped off the line, raised his arms, and took 10 steps instead of 9.
-On the One Leg Stand, Ian swayed and put his foot down. Ian was unable to complete the test due to poor balance.
Ian was asked to submit to a portable breath test, and he refused. Based on Cpl. Johnstun's observations determined Ian was under the influence of alcohol to a degree he was not safe to operate a motor vehicle.
Ian was then placed under arrest for driving under the influence. A records check showed Ian was an alcohol-restricted person with an ignition interlock requirement. Ian's truck was not equipped with an ignition interlock device.
Ian also had two prior DUI convictions within the last ten years.