By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – A man was arrested for DUI while parked with his vehicle’s engine running.
The incident occurred July 9 in the parking lot of the Valley Motel at 1050 W. Thatcher Blvd. An officer responded to the area at about 10:05 a.m. after a caller said the truck without a license plate had been parked with two people inside for a while and believed their actions to be suspicious.
Upon arrival, the officer located a 2014, Ford F-150 pickup truck with two individuals inside and the engine running. When contacted, the driver, identified as Tom Garvin, was holding an open “tall-boy” can of beer, according to the officer’s report. Further inspection also located an open bottle of whiskey in the driver’s door.
Garvin, who showed obvious signs of intoxication, and his passenger advised that they had rented a room but were in the truck using the phone, and since it was hot they had the vehicle on and the air conditioning running. Garvin said he was in the truck on the phone because he was talking to someone regarding a truck payment.
After neglecting to perform a field sobriety test, Garvin was placed under arrest for DUI and was transported to the Safford Police Department, where his blood was taken for testing purposes. At his request, the keys to the truck were given to the passenger, who was released at the scene.
After a sample of blood was taken, Garvin was released from custody. Possible DUI charges are pending lab results and review by prosecutors.
In Arizona, a person can be charged with a DUI even if they haven’t been driving and were simply in a parked vehicle while intoxicated, however, Garvin could argue that since the temperature was hot outside it gives cause as to his explanation that the vehicle was only running to have the air conditioning on and he had no intentions of driving.