DUI Suspect Takes Cop Car for Joyride on Super Bowl Sunday

By Topher

While millions of Americans were enjoying the excitement of a thrilling Super Bowl, Ryan Larson of Elkhart, Indiana, was allegedly enjoying a different kind of excitement.

The roller coaster ride of the game between the Saints and the Colts was quite different from the cop car joyride Larson experienced.

According to the Elkhart eTruth, Larson was arrested on preliminary charges of stealing a police car and ramming it into a barrier, as well as DUI, resisting law enforcement and leaving the scene of an accident. The Elkhart County Sherriff’s Department released the statement outlining the charges.

The original call came in for a domestic disturbance at around 7:30 p.m. Larson’s parents were there to respond to officers. They claimed to believe that their son was under the influence of alcohol and prescription medication.

According to the press release, as police were talking to his parents, Larson jumped into Elkhart County Patrolman Brandon Denesuk’s patrol car and drove off down the street.

Police used GPS locators in the car to find it almost immediately. They were attempting to intercept the stolen vehicle when Larson allegedly crashed it into a construction area near the Johnson Street bridge. The crash caused minor damage when the police car ran into barricades that were set up around the construction site.

Larson fled the scene of the patrol car accident on foot, though police were able to locate and apprehend him fairly quickly. The ordeal lasted about fifteen minutes from the time police approached Larson’s parents to the time he was apprehended on foot.

Larson was checked for injuries at a nearby hospital, and then he was taken to jail.

According to police, all of the weapons that were in the car were secure, so a thief could not have gotten to them. Police are investigating whether the officers procedures and policies were effective.

Larson’s blood-alcohol level was .10 percent — .02 percent over the legal limit for DUI – at the time of his alleged escapade through the streets of Elkhart. Since he was driving – albeit a stolen cop car – he was still charged with DUI.

There is no word on whether Larson was allowed to watch the end of the game from jail, though the Colts loss may have been tough for the Indiana resident to watch anyhow.



Super Bowl Sunday DUI Arrest Round-Up

By Topher

Law enforcement agencies often target holidays and popular party days as a time to step up DUI check points and DUI enforcement.

This was the case for the most recent Super Bowl Sunday, as cops stepped up their presences on the nation’s highways, hoping to cut down on DUI and encourage responsible alcohol consumption.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that Super Bowl Sunday is one of the more dangerous days to drive as a result of impaired driving. The administration notes that almost half of fatal accidents in that time period are a result of impaired drivers with a blood-alcohol content above .08. The NHTSA’s message on Super Bowl Sunday: “Fans don’t let fans drive drunk.”

The message may be working, as early reports show a relatively safe and quiet Super Bowl weekend.

Oregon DUI

In Oregon, there were 58 drivers arrested for DUI across the state on Super Bowl weekend. This figure is similar to numbers from last year around the same time, according to Oregon State Police.

There were 14 arrests in the Springfield area, 8 around Salem, and 7 each in Portland and Tualatin.

There were no fatal accidents in Oregon.

Toronto DUI

Even north of the border DUI patrols were heightened surrounding the Super Bowl. The Toronto Observer called it “one the largest RIDE blitzes in the city’s history.”

Despite the large effort, only three arrests were made for drinking and driving on Super Bowl weekend. Seven cars were towed in that time. The previous year, nine arrests were made for DUI.

Said Sergeant Jack West of the Super Bowl patrols: “We know that people are going to be celebrating and including alcoholic beverages. So knowing that, we want to go out there and keep the roads safe. This is all about saving lives.”

Las Vegas DUI

As some 300,000 people descended on Las Vegas for the big game, police stepped up their DUI patrols. These efforts resulted in 29 drunk driving arrests in the Las Vegas area. Most of these arrests came from traffic stops, and only three came after traffic accidents.