At around 6:30 p.m. Friday, officers were dispatched to U.S. 285 in reference to a reckless driver.
The vehicle, a white Chrysler 300, was spotted turning east on Richey Avenue, and officers caught up with it on the frontage road just west of the railroad tracks. When police attempted to make contact with the driver, however, he began slowly driving forward toward Richey.
Officers attempted to open the driver’s side door but found it locked as the man continued to drive toward Richey, and upon reaching it, he turned north on First Street and began fleeing at a high rate of speed.
The driver of the Chrysler, later identified as Eric Haggerton, 32, of Carlsbad, attempted to negotiate a left turn onto Roselawn Avenue but wrecked into a utility box just northwest of the intersection.
According to the report, officers noted a strong odor of alcohol emitting from Haggerton upon his exit from the vehicle. He told police he had had a “few drinks 10 to 20 minutes ago,” then asked an officer if he had a roll of toilet paper, as he needed to use the bathroom.
After informing Haggerton he could not use the bathroom on the side of the highway, police administered a field sobriety test and found sufficient evidence to place him under arrest.
Officers were advised by dispatch that Haggerton carried a valid-revoked license that allowed for arrest if he was found driving a vehicle not equipped with ignition interlock. No such device was found on the vehicle he was driving.
Upon transportation to the Artesia Detention Center, Haggerton agreed to submit to a breath test and was found to have a blood alcohol level of .12.
He was subsequently charged with DWI (second offense), unlawful use of a license, reckless driving, and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. Haggerton has entered not guilty pleas to all of the charges and posted a $2,500 bond. He is scheduled for a 1 p.m. May 30 pre-trial hearing in Artesia Magistrate Court.