POSTED: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 - 4:05pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 - 5:29pm
THIBODAUX, LA (NBC33) — A man allegedly told officers “I’ll be honest, I’m intoxicated” after he was arrested for taking police on a high speed chase.
The Thibodaux Police Department reports that the incident occurred on Friday, Dec. 29 at roughly 11:30 p.m. We’re told an officer spotted a vehicle swerving in the roadway on Canal Boulevard near West 9th Street. The officer attempted a traffic stop, but the suspect sped up and took off.
Officers gave chase for 20 miles, reaching top speeds of 100 mph. Officials say the suspect forced cars off the road, but fortunately no one was injured.
“He first went into Terrebonne parish, then Lafourche parish and it ended in Assumption Parish,” David Melancon, Thibodaux Police Department, explained. “At one point when he was traveling at a high rate of speed he hit a water puddle and crashed his vehicle into a highway sign. At that point his vehicle stalled, but he was able to get it started and took off again.”
The chase finally ended when the suspect ran out of gas.
“A K9 unit searched the vehicle and did make an alert,” Melancon noted. “However, no narcotics were found in the vehicle. The alert means that it’s possible he had something in his vehicle recently.”
The suspect, Christian Morales, 26, of Amelia allegedly admitted to being under the influence of alcohol. A blood alcohol test revealed that he had a level of .114 percent. Morales was arrested and booked for DWI (first offense), Aggravated Flight from an Officer, and Swerving in Roadway. He also had three active warrants from Terrebonne and St. Mary Parishes for traffic related offenses.
Morales was booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center where he is being held on a bond of $107,050 bond.
Over the past two years the Thibodaux Police Department has increased its focus on DWI related offences due to the ranking of roadways in Lafourche Parish.
“They rate each parish on a tier system based on the most frequency of impaired drivers, crashes and fatalities on the roadway. We’re currently a tier one, which is the worst and we’re hoping to change that,” Melancon said. “We want people to know we are not giving anyone a break. If you drive intoxicated, the only ride home you’ll have is in the back of a police vehicle. Our goal is not to arrest a lot of people, we want people to make wise decisions.”
In 2012 the Thibodaux Police Department made a total of 295 DWI arrests, which is a little over a 100 more than in 2011. Prior to implementing the new system, the department only made 22 DWI arrests in 2010.