Police: DUI for Man, 52, Swerving on Mansfield Ave

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After someone called police to report an SUV swerving as it headed south on Mansfield Avenue, officers found the vehicle and its intoxicated driver, who was arrested, police said.

Darien police described what happened with this account, including accusations not proven in court:

The caller told police the vehicle was a gray sport utility vehicle swerving in and out of its lane. An officer who went to the scene was waved down by a person near a truck parked in the parking lot of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 471 Mansfield Ave.

The witness, who was later identified as the complainant, said the SUV had pulled over on the side of the road about 50 yards further south. The officer went there and saw the gray Dodge Caliber stopped by the side of the road.

When the officer asked the driver, a 52-year-old Derby man, where he was headed, the man said he was going to see an ex-girlfriend in Bridgeport. Asked if he knew what town he was in, the man said, “I need to get back to the Merritt.”

He then said he was going to the mall in Trumbull to get his phone fixed. As he spoke, the officer saw that the man’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot, and the officer smelled an alcoholic drink on his breath.

Asked if he’d been drinking, the man said he had a couple of beers.

Police had the man take field sobriety tests. When he got out of the car, he was unsteady on his feet, swaying back and forth, and he couldn’t complete the tests in a satisfactory way. He was arrested on a charge of driving while under the influence.

Inside the SUV, police found several empty bottles of vodka and a can of beer, un-opened.

There were delays in getting the vehicle towed from the scene, so it wasn’t until 4:24 p.m., an hour and 18 minutes after the initial 2:42 p.m. call to police, that the man was taken to Police Headquarters and given breath-alcohol tests.

The tests showed that the man’s blood-alcohol content at 4:24 p.m. was 0.1564, still almost double the legal 0.08 limit for adult drivers. At 4:43 p.m., just over two hours after the call to police, the level was 0.1514. Blood-alcohol levels go down in the hours after drinking stops, although they can initially go up for a period as well.

He was first held on $250 bond, but he wasn’t able to post it, and a bail commissioner later removed the bond entirely. The man was told to appear July 24 in state Superior Court in Stamford.