POSTED: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 12:31pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 12:32pm
BATON ROUGE, LA. (NBC33) — A Hammond man is now in jail after fleeing from police.
Following a pursuit along Interstate 12 through Tangipahoa and St. Tammany Parish, troopers arrested Donald Murphy Jr. on charges of reckless operation of a vehicle, aggravated flight from an officer, 7th offense DWI, driving on a suspended License, and refusal of a chemical test.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 19, troopers responded to numerous reports of a silver Dodge truck driving erratically in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 12. As troopers caught up with the truck, they observed the vehicle swerving from lane to lane and activated their emergency lights. Murphy then accelerated away from the pursuing units and attempted to cross into the westbound lanes of I-12 through a median crossover. Upon crossing the median, Murphy began to travel against oncoming traffic in the westbound lanes for a short distance before crossing the median again. As Murphy continued eastbound, troopers successfully deployed a tire deflation device forcing Murphy into a ditch.
Once in custody, troopers detected signs of impairment and requested he submit a breath alcohol test, which he refused. Due to his refusal and prior DWI convictions, troopers obtained a search warrant and collected a blood sample to be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.
The consequences of drinking and driving can be costly no matter how many drinks you have consumed. Driving while impaired and lack of seat belt use continues to be contributing factors in a large majority of fatal crashes across the nation. Last year across our state, 303 of the 720 people killed on our highways (42%) were involved in alcohol related crashes. The task of stopping impaired drivers is a joint effort of law enforcement agencies and the public. By never allowing an impaired driver to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and reporting dangerous drivers to law enforcement, the public can play an important role in the reduction of crashes.
To report impaired drivers or unsafe roadway conditions, you may dial *LSP (*577) from your cellular phone to reach the State Police office closest to you.