YCSO: Suspected drunken driver put 6-year-old boy at risk - WFSB 3 Connecticut

YCSO: Suspected drunken driver put 6-year-old boy at risk

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Joseph Allen (Source: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office) Joseph Allen (Source: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)

A Cottonwood man was arrested after authorities said he put his passengers, including a 6-year-old boy, at risk during a high-speed chase and crash Thursday.

Joseph Allen, 30, was booked into jail on a number of charges, including reckless driving, aggravated DUI and criminal damage.

A Yavapai County sheriff's deputy said he noticed the truck Allen was driving swerve across the fog line on Highway 260 at Western Drive in Cottonwood.

The vehicle continued weaving and the deputy estimated the driver was going 80 mph in a 55 mph zone.

The deputy activated his emergency lights and the truck slowed as if it was going to pull over. The truck suddenly drove off and failed to stop, YCSO said. 

As the deputy gave chase, the vehicle struck a guardrail. The deputy discontinued the chase because there were other vehicles on the road endangered by the suspect's driving, YCSO said.

The truck was last seen turning onto Cherry Creek Road into the Yavapai Apache Reservation.

Tribal police officers escorted the deputy into the reservation, where the truck was eventually found at the end of Cherry Creek Road. The vehicle had collided with a road closed barricade.

The deputy found the four occupants of the truck. A 17-year-old passenger told the deputy that Allen had been driving and panicked when he saw the emergency lights, YCSO said. 

Sheriff's investigators said Allen admitted to the teen he had been drinking "a lot" and wanted the teen to take his place in the driver's seat. The teen refused.

The 6-year-old was seated in the front of the truck without a child safety seat, YCSO said.

Allen denied driving the truck, YCSO said. The deputy confirmed Allen's license was revoked based on prior DUI convictions.

Inside the truck on the floorboard, deputies found two freshly empty beer cans along with two liquor bottles.

Deputies eventually located a surveillance tape from a Cottonwood store showing Allen entering the truck earlier that evening and driving away while striking a curb as he exited the parking area.

He remains in custody on a $10,000 bond.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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