An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer reported finding more liquor than coffee in Rep. Albert Hale’s car when he arrested the Arizona Democrat in November.
Prosecutors are awaiting the results of a blood test to determine if Hale, D-St. Michaels, will be formally charged with driving under the influence, but new details of his arrested emerged Monday in a DPS report, obtained by the Arizona Capitol Times.
Hale was pulled over on State Route 277 at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 23, according to the report. The officer reported clocking Hale at 68 mph in a 55 mph zone. Hale was also driving with a cracked windshield, an expired registration and no proof of insurance, the report said.
The DPS officer described Hale as “nervous,” and wrote he tried to avoid eye contact while providing both his driver’s license and Arizona House of Representatives ID. Hale said he was driving to Phoenix for a round of golf.
After initially preparing a warning for speeding, as well as citations for the lack of registration and proof of insurance, the officer reported Hale had “red watery eyes and a strong odor of an intoxicating beverage came from his person and vehicle.”
The officer asked what kind of beverage Hale had in a coffee mug sitting in his front cup holder.
Hale said it was coffee, but when the officer asked to look in the mug, Hale conceded “there is a little bit in there,” and eventually confessed there was gin in the coffee, the report said.
The officer reported he found more gin than coffee – the mug was “three quarters of the way empty,” while the liquid inside “appeared mostly clear, and gave off a strong odor of an intoxicating beverage,” the report said.
Hale was then asked to undergo a field sobriety test, and failed at several points to follow instructions or properly perform the tasks, the report said.
Officers then arrested Hale, who later refused to continue to take a breath sample after giving an incomplete one. Hale gave a partial sample of 0.024, but “as the reading began to climb Hale stopped blowing,” the report said.
At the advice of his attorney, Hale later provided a blood sample at the Navajo County Jail in Holbrook before being booked in the jail, the report said.
Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon said it could take three months or longer for the results of the blood test to be available.
This report includes information from the Associated Press.n