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Drunken man was driving wrong-way on I-15 during snowstorm, UHP says

Utah Highway Patrol trooper’s badge.

(Andrew Adams, KSL TV)



CEDAR CITY — A man with a history of DUI was arrested early Tuesday after police say he was driving the wrong-way on I-15 during a snowstorm and almost caused several serious crashes.

Shane Daniel Coles, 52, of Ogden, was booked into the Iron County Jail for investigation of DUI, aggravated assault, reckless driving, being an alcohol-restricted driver, driving on a revoked license and having an open container in the vehicle.

In addition, Coles had three outstanding warrants at the time of his arrest, according to police affidavit.

About 12:20 a.m., a Utah Department of Transportation plow driver notified the Utah Highway Patrol that a vehicle was driving south in the northbound lanes of I-15 north of Cedar City near Beaver County.

"It was currently snowing hard, the roads were icy and covered in snow. The plow driver advised me the car appeared to try to run into his plow at least twice. The plow driver stated the car was all over the roadway, from shoulder to shoulder and spinning in circles. Another individual called in the reckless car, stating it ran them almost off the roadway," the affidavit states.

When the UHP trooper spotted Coles, he was "weaving from one side of the interstate to the other" and caused an oncoming semi to swerve out of the way. "The semi appeared to struggle to regain control of the truck, and almost jackknifed on the interstate," according to the affidavit.

The trooper pulled his vehicle in front of Coles to stop his car.

"I exited my patrol car and the driver of the vehicle was revving the engine and trying to shift back into gear," the trooper noted.

After getting Coles out of of his car, the trooper "could smell a very overwhelming odor" of alcohol and noted in the report that Coles "wasn't able to stand up on his own without almost falling over."

Coles appeared to be "very disoriented, tired and dazed," the trooper wrote.

"It was a struggle to keep the subject awake and standing upright as I spoke to him," the affidavit says. "I placed him inside my patrol car and he almost immediately fell asleep."

Coles failed his field sobriety tests and troopers found an open bottle of alcohol in his car. Coles later told troopers he had been drinking "multiple beers" in Beaver and was on his way to see his girlfriend in Cedar City, the affidavit states.

Coles has a length criminal history, according to court records, including multiple DUI convictions.

Pat Reavy

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