An Arizona man is facing a raft of charges after a wrong-way accident on the Loop 202 in Mesa caused traffic delays that lasted for hours and left another person injured. The state’s Department of Public Safety say that the 35-year-old man has been charged with criminal damage and endangerment as well as aggravated DUI. After being taken into custody at the accident scene, the man was processed and then transported to the Maricopa County Jail.
Police say that the man ran a red light on Val Vista Road before entering Arizona State Road 202 against the flow of traffic. Reports indicate that the man quickly realized that he was proceeding eastbound in the westbound lanes, but his attempts to make a U-turn were unsuccessful. Instead, the he is said to have continued eastbound after completing a 360-degree turn. His minivan came to a rest after striking an oncoming SUV. The incident occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. on April 7.
The accident closed the busy stretch of highway for almost five hours, and firefighters report that one individual suffered minor injuries in the crash. Police responding to the accident scene say that the man appeared to be impaired, but they believe that drugs of some kind rather than alcohol were responsible for his intoxication.
Those facing impaired driving charges after taking drugs may mount an affirmative defense in some situations. Criminal defense attorneys may pursue this strategy when the individual concerned was given drugs unwittingly or did not know that prescription medications that were being taken legitimately would have an intoxicating effect.