SUV wreck leads to DUI arrested
By Wes Wade | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alcoa Police have arrested a man on a DUI charge after he crashed into a utility pole on North Wright Road in Alcoa Friday night, snapping the pole in half, police said.
Holaf Hernandez-Lopez, 25, of Tazewell, was being held at the Blount County Justice Center in lieu of $1,000 bond pending a 9 a.m. Thursday hearing in Blount County General Sessions Court.
Hernandez-Lopez was traveling south on North Wright Road in a 1998 Ford Explorer and failed to negotiate a curve, causing the SUV to leave the roadway and strike a City of Maryville utility pole at around 9 p.m., according to an Alcoa Police report. The crash occurred about 100 feet south of Harding Street.
When officers arrived, they found the utility pole had broken in half and the SUV was stuck on the bottom half of the pole with Hernandez-Lopez still inside the vehicle. Because downed power lines were covering the vehicle, the driver remained inside the SUV until Alcoa Electric Department personnel could arrive and clear the scene.
While waiting on electric personnel, the report states, officers began speaking with the driver and noticed a very strong odor of alcohol on his person. Alcoa officers called a Maryville Police officer proficient in Spanish to respond to the scene as Hernandez-Lopez did not speak English. The translator arrived and spoke with the driver, finding that Hernandez-Lopez did not have a license and admitted to consuming four alcoholic drinks, the report states.
Once the scene was cleared by electric personnel, Hernandez-Lopez exited the vehicle and officers noted observing that he was unsteady on his feet, had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.
The driver was asked to perform standardized field sobriety tests, and the third test — the one-leg stand — had to be stopped for the driver’s safety after he put his foot down for the third time and was unable to keep his leg up for more than a second, the report stated.
Hernandez-Lopez agreed to submit to a blood alcohol test and was taken to Blount Memorial Hospital for the blood draw. He was then transported to the Blount County Justice Center, where he was also issued citations for proof of insurance violation and failure to provide due car.
Damage to the City of Maryville utility pole was estimated at more than $400.