September 8, 2011 |

Police use Taser on drunk driving suspect

Haines Police used a Taser on a Juneau man recently who was being uncooperative during a field sobriety test and subsequently arrested for driving under the influence.

Officer John Havard was dispatched to a local bar early on Aug. 9 for a report of a group of men hanging out in the parking lot and making bar patrons uncomfortable. A woman there also reported being harassed by one of the men. Havard contacted the men, whom he described in court documents as visibly intoxicated, and told them to leave the premises but not to drive. The men asked for directions to a local campground and walked away from the bar.

Shortly after, Havard reported seeing the men walking, but not toward the campground he had given them directions to. He spoke with them again and reminded them not to drive.

About 30 minutes later, Havard spotted a truck he believed belonged to one of the men moved from its original location near the bar to the parking lot of a local business. He spoke with the man inside, who admitted he drove the truck and was trying to sleep. Havard explained he wanted to conduct a series of field sobriety tests on the man and the suspect became agitated.

Court documents state the man "refused to comply with the request to place his hands on this vehicle and be placed under arrest" and that Havard was "forced to deploy his Taser gun to gain control." The man was arrested and taken to the police station where he recorded a .145 blood-alcohol content.

Police chief Gary Lowe said neither the officer nor suspect was hurt during the arrest. He estimates Haines Police officers use a Taser to subdue a suspect about once a year.

The suspect pleaded not guilty to drunk driving.