GET AWAY: Suspected Drunk Driver Gets Away

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A suspected drunk driver swerved in and out of interstate traffic Sunday.  And even though a witness called police and followed the driver for more than 20-miles, the driver still got away. 

The witness took video showing the suspect swerving all over I-235 West, almost hitting an SUV and a motorcycle.  It’s amazing he didn’t kill anyone.  What’s even more amazing, the guy who shot the video followed the suspect through three cities; was on the phone for about 20-minutes with police dispatchers telling them exactly where they were; and the suspect still got away.  At one point, they even passed within yards of a Des Moines Police speed trap.

 “I was relieved.” says Todd Givens, who shot the video, “I’m like ‘oh great there’s some police right here and they’re within yards of me.”  But the officers didn’t go after the suspect. Des Moines Police Sergeant Dan Blom says it would have been too dangerous for officers to try to bridge the distance.  “The officers that were running the speed trap typically the officers they would not hear the broadcast that went out and by the time the broadcast went out, which is approximately a minute after the complainant called in they were approximately a mile and a half to two miles away from where those officers were.”

The suspect drove through West Des Moines as Givens spoke with a dispatcher, pinpointing their exact location. But a police spokesman says an officer was dispatched to the wrong location.

The suspect finally stopped at a home in Waukee, but by the time police arrived he had already gotten out of his vehicle, so he wasn’t arrested.  Des Moines police say they should have called West Des Moines dispatch to give them a heads up.  Even though this guy got away, police still encourage motorists to call them officers if they see a suspected drunk driver.

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