Glassy-eyed, smelling of alcohol and driving through downtown past midnight with a damaged tail light, an 18-year-old was charged last Tuesday with driving while under the influence, police said.
Darien police described the incident and arrest with this account (including accusations not proven in court):
At about 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 12, a police officer on patrol noticed that the left rear tail light was not working on a car traveling at a high rate of speed east on the Post Road downtown. The officer turned the patrol car around and followed.
The patrol car started following the car, a white 1997 Mercedes Benz C-280. The Mercedes abruptly slowed down and turned into an office parking lot at 1500 Post Road (across the street from Spring Grove Cemetery).
The driver, an 18-year-old Stamford man, and his passenger, a 20-year-old Pound Ridge, N.Y. man, each got out of the car and were walking away when the officer came and told them both to get back in the vehicle.
When asked by the officer if he knew where he was. He said he was on Glenbrook Road. He said he “took off” when he saw the patrol car following him because he was nervous.
At that point, the officer noticed that the driver smelled of alcohol and had glassy eyes. The driver was directed to perform field sobriety tests, couldn’t complete them and was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol. He was also charged with driving with a broken tail light and disobeying the signal of a police officer. The car was towed.
The officer also noticed that the car had fresh damage to both its front and left sides. The driver said he’d hit a stone wall in New Canaan the previous night while trying to avoid a deer. He hadn’t filed a police report, he said. New Canaan police confirmed that no police report was filed.
A breath test on the driver indicated a blood-alcohol content of 0.089 at 1:21 a.m. and 0.0812 at 1:41 a.m. Under state law, the legal blood-alcohol limit for a driver between the ages of 18 and the legal drinking age of 21 is 0.02.
Ab 3:30 a.m., the man posted $250 bond and was released.