Man arrested for DUI after leaving the scene of a collision

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD – A Safford man was arrested on June 19 after allegedly leaving the scene of a collision at about 2:38 p.m. that occurred in the Thriftee Food & Drug parking lot at 755 S. Central Ave. 

Phillip Gonzales Jr., 31, was arrested for DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. 

According to a Safford Police report, the victim of the collision pointed out Gonzales’ vehicle – a blue Chrysler Sebring – to an officer as Gonzales left the parking lot after striking her vehicle. 

The officer performed a traffic stop on 5th Avenue and noticed Gonzales to possibly be inebriated. According to the officer’s report, Gonzales had bloodshot, watery eyes and was slurring his speech. The officer also smelled “a strong odor of intoxicants emitting from the vehicle.”

Gonzales initially gave the officer his EBT card believing it to be his driver’s license and then allegedly admitted to drinking a few beers that morning but said he had taken a nap since then. However, a portable breath test later administered at the Safford Police Department listed Gonzales’ breath/alcohol concentration at .249. 

After failing a field sobriety test, Gonzales was arrested for DUI and a blood sample was taken for testing purposes. Gonzales’ vehicle was turned over to a relative, and Gonzales was given a ride home by police after his blood sample was taken. Possible charges including leaving the scene of an accident and DUI are pending blood test analysis and review by prosecutors. 

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