Wrong-Way Driver Travels 11 Miles While Drunk
22-year-old Stephanie Zander travelled almost 11 miles in the HOV lane wrong-way early Friday morning before she was pulled over by highway patrol officers.
According to police reports, Zander had a blood alcohol content of 0.22 percent, which is nearly three times the legal limit. She was stopped by police officers near Rural Road in Tempe, Arizona.
Director Frank Milstead with the Arizona Department of Public Safety said that wrong-way driving continues to be a huge threat to the travelling community. “Unfortunately, it is very, very difficult at this point to find solutions for those who are impaired,” he said.
Officers got the first call reporting a wrong-way driver at about 2 a.m when motorists reported a car going southbound in the northbound lanes of State Route 51 near Indian School Road. Police reports stated that Zander traveled east on Interstate 10, past Tempe Town Lake and Sky Harbor International Airport, before she was stopped on U.S. 60 near Rural Road.
Mesa Police Sgt. Brandon Mendoza was killed on this same ramp by a wrong-way driver last year.
While going wrong-way, Zander ricocheted off the concrete barrier in the center of the roadway near 40th Street and continued driving.
Milstead said that wrong-way drivers are becoming common and five incidents were reported during last week alone. It is important for drivers to pay attention to their surroundings so they can prevent these incidents. He also said that wrong-way drivers routinely hug the center wall along the HOV lane.
“Driving becomes so second nature to us, but if you stay vigilant and stay really focused on what’s going on on the roadways, that’s probably your best safety practice,” said Milstead.
News Source: www.AZCentral.com