Peru, IN – A Peru man with a suspended driver’s license was arrested on charges of Operating While Intoxicated and Driving While Suspended on December 22, 2018, at approximately 1:13 p.m.
According to a probable cause affidavit, PPD Officer Brok A. Westfall was finishing up a traffic stop at Broadway and Warren Streets when Miami County Central Dispatch advised of a possible drunk driver that had left the Dollar General Store on West Main Street in a silver Pontiac G6.
After completing his traffic stop, Officer Westfall began looking for the possible drunk driver. He then observed a vehicle matching the description at the stop sign at Warren Street and Broadway. The vehicle then accelerated at high-speed casing the tires to squeal and pulled out in front of a truck as it crossed Broadway. Officer Westfall proceeded after the vehicle.
Officer Westfall observed the vehicle attempting to park in the alley between Warren and Spring Streets. After pulling into the alley, Westfall observed a male, Eric D. Sutton, 36 of Peru, exit the driver’s seat. Officer Westfall’s report indicated that he was familiar with Mr. Sutton through prior law enforcement encounters and that he was aware that Mr. Sutton’s Driving privileges were suspended.
Upon approaching Mr. Sutton, Officer Westfall could detect the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mr. Sutton’s person. Mr. Sutton advised Officer Westfall that he was coming home from work and that he had a conditional license to drive to and from work.
When asked for his license, the report indicates that Mr. Sutton staggered to the passenger side of the vehicle and retrieved his conditional license paperwork. While Sutton was retrieving this paperwork, Officer Westfall noticed a small alcoholic beverage bottle on the passenger side floorboard of the Pontiac.
When asked if he had been drinking, Mr. Sutton reported that he had not been drinking and was on his way home from work. He was then asked to participate in a series of standardized field sobriety tests. Mr. Sutton agreed to take the tests.
Mr. Sutton was given the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, displaying 6 out of 6 clues. The walk and turn test, which he failed. The one leg stand test which he also failed.
At this point, Mr. Sutton was given a portable breath test with a recorded result of .232% BrAC. Officer Westfall then began reading Mr. Sutton Indiana Implied Consent. While doing this, Mr. Sutton began doing jumping jacks. He agreed to the test while still doing jumping jacks. He was then directed to stop so that he could be placed in handcuffs for transportation to the Peru Police Department for the chemical test.
Upon arrival at the Peru Police Department, Mr. Sutton did not fully cooperate with the instructions resulting in Officer Westfall not being able to obtain a certified breath sample. He was then transported to Dukes Memorial Hospital for a blood draw.
While transporting Mr. Sutton to Dukes Memorial, he freely admitted to Officer Westfall that he had been let go from his job a few days prior.
Once at the hospital and while waiting for the hospital staff to complete the blood draw, he again began doing jumping jacks. He was instructed several times to sit down and he refused. According to the report, “Eric stated that I was going to have to sit him down.” Officer Westfall took Mr. Sutton by the arm and assisted him to the bed so he could sit down.
Dukes Hospital staff drew two vials of blood using an Indiana Department of Toxicology blood draw kit with results pending. At one point during the blood draw, Mr. Sutton became verbally aggressive towards one of the phlebotomists from Dukes.
He was then transported to the Miami County Jail. Mr. Sutton’s driving status showed as suspended prior. He had a prior conviction for operating while intoxicated from October 24, 2017.
Eric Sutton, 36 of Peru faces charges of Operating While Intoxicated Felony and Driving While Suspended. He was also issued citations for unsafe start and open container.
All criminal suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.