Al Unser, Jr., the 2 time Indy 500 winner, was arrested for operating while intoxicated. This is not his first appearance on this blog. In 2012, I posted that he was convicted for his second DUI. At that time, his lawyer claimed that he was “taking steps to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.” Unfortunately, those changes did not stick.
Retired race car driver Al Unser Jr. was arrested early Monday after Avon police said he was speeding while under the influence, and stumbled down an embankment moments before refusing to take a sobriety test.
Unser, 57, was booked into the Hendricks County Jail at 3:21 a.m. Online court records show that he has been formally charged with misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, as well as infractions for improper lane usage and speeding.
He was released on bond Monday afternoon.
Unser won the Indianapolis 500 in 1992 and 1994. He has competed in the race 19 times, most recently in 2007.
According to court documents, Unser was pulled over at 1:12 a.m. Monday when an Avon police officer clocked his black Volkswagen Beetle in the 500 block of Ronald Reagan Parkway going 59 mph in a 45 mph zone.
When Unser’s northbound vehicle sped past, the police officer began to follow, court documents said. The officer observed Unser’s Beetle drift from the northbound lane into the turning lane for westbound traffic before drifting back into the northbound lane.
The officer turned on his lights to pull over the vehicle, but police said Unser continued north for a short distance before coming to a stop in the 300 block of Ronald Reagan Parkway.
The officer observed that Unser had red, glossy eyes, and his speech was slurred, court documents said. When the officer noticed the smell of alcohol, he asked Unser if he had been drinking, and Unser said that he had not.
Unser was asked to step out of the vehicle and he complied, pulling himself from the Beetle and staggering while walking to the rear of the car, court documents said.
The officer gestured Unser to walk over to the shoulder of the road for safety, but Unser walked onto the embankment, lost his balance, fell to the ground and rolled down the embankment, court documents said.
Unser was helped to his feet and again denied that he had been drinking. He then refused to take a field sobriety test, the documents said.
With the sobriety test refusal and signs of impairment, the officer placed Unser in handcuffs and took him to the Avon Police Department. A warrant to perform a blood draw was obtained, and the test was conducted at Hendricks Regional Hospital.
Two vials of blood were drawn from Unser’s arm at 3:02 a.m., and Unser was placed under arrest on suspicion of operating while intoxicated with a blood draw pending.
In court documents, the arresting officer said that Unser was hostile towards officers throughout the interaction.