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Man suspected of DUI after wrong-way accident on I-44

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has reported that a 23-year-old Broken Arrow man has been taken into custody after being involved in a wrong-way accident on Interstate 44. The man is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, which took place at about 12:02 a.m. on Jan. 17.

The accident report states that the man was driving his pickup truck in the eastbound lanes of I-44 against the flow of traffic when he collided head-on with another vehicle. The man then allegedly drove on for almost a mile before coming to a stop. Responding troopers say that they detected a smell of alcohol on the man's breath when they approached his vehicle. They also say that his speech was slurred, his eyes were bloodshot and he had difficulty standing. A search of the man's pickup truck yielded drug paraphernalia containing what troopers say appeared to be marijuana residue.

The man was subsequently booked into the Tulsa Jail on charges of DUI, wrong-way driving on a divided highway, possession of drug paraphernalia and hit-and-run. He remained in custody in lieu of bail, which was set $1,800.

Drunk driving charges can have serious consequences in Oklahoma, and even first-time offenders may face a sentence of up to one year in jail. However, individuals accused of driving under the influence are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and field sobriety or Breathalyzer tests may be conducted improperly. A criminal defense attorney with experience in DUI cases may challenge the results of tests used to determine a suspect's level of intoxication, and they could question the actions and statements of the police officers involved. They may also bring mitigating factors to the attention of prosecutors during plea negotiations.

Source: Tulsa World, Broken Arrow driver arrested after reportedly driving wrong way on I-44", Kendrick Marshall, January 17, 2014

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