Nearly a dozen motorists suspected of driving drunk in the Spokane area on New Year’s Eve were arrested by state troopers, the same number taken off roads by WSP in more populous King County, authorities said today.
The 11 drunken driving arrests in Spokane County doesn’t include any figures from local law enforcement agencies, many of which stepped up holiday enforcement efforts but hadn’t compiled their figures yet.
Long before reveling reached a peak Tuesday, WSP had some excitement when a suspected drunken driver crossed the Idaho state line into Washington and led police on a chase through Spokane Valley starting about 9:20 p.m.
The 25-year-old rammed a patrol car after police used their cruisers to box him in, said Trooper Jeff Sevigney. He drove a little further. Crashed into a house at Argonne and Knox, and fled on foot.
Police finally caught the suspected driver, identified as Caleb D. Desjarlais. He allegedly had meth, marijuana and prescription drugs in his possession, Sevigney said. Troopers booked Desjarlais into jail on charges of DUI, attempting to elude, possession of a controlled substance and hit and run.
Spokane Police had no tally available for drunken drivers busted during Tuesday and Wednesday’s New Year’s celebration.
Authorities did report a serious crash about 2:10 a.m. Wednesday that left a man with life-threatening injuries and his wife in danger of losing her unborn child.
The husband and wife were in a Scion compact at the intersection of Francis and Crestline when it was T-boned by a Dodge Intrepid that had been traveling westbound on Francis, said Spokane Police Lt. Dave McCabe. The couple and the driver of the Dodge, identified as 25-year-old Brian Hoofman, were taken to a hospital.
The husband and wife have not been identified.
Police think Hoofman had been drinking when he caused the crash. Hoofman suffered minor injuries. While at the hospital, he “sort of lost it” and kicked an officer and a nurse in the face, McCabe said.
Hoofman was booked into jail on charges of vehicular assault stemming from the collision, and two-counts of third-degree assault for the kicking attack at the hospital.