This week Toledo Police Officers were dispatched to a possible DUII driver heading westbound on Highway 20 near Pioneer Mountain loop. A witness said that a white van was failing to maintain a lane, varying in speeds and was obstructing ten to fifteen cars behind it.
The officers intercepted the van at the Toledo West Junction and attempted to pull the vehicle over at Mile Post 5. The vehicle failed to pull over. A slow pursuit was initiated. The vehicle maintained speeds of 35 to 45 mph. At two miles east of Newport the van finally pulled over onto the right shoulder. A Toledo Police Officer pulled in behind the van and shined his spotlight into the van’s driver side mirror. The officer then proceeded to get out of his patrol car when suddenly the van got back onto the highway. When the officer caught back up the van had resumed a constant speed of 45 mph.
As the officers were approaching Newport they were advised that Newport Police were near Mile Post 1 with spike strips. The strips were deployed and they disabled the van’s left front tire. The van eventually stopped on Highway 20 at SE Fogarty Street in Newport.
The driver was identified as a Chinese tourist who could not speak English. But he did present a Chinese driver’s license. A male passenger was able to translate to the officers. There were no signs of intoxication and they said they didn’t drink.
The passenger explained that there are three couples in the van and they had come to America to tour the West Coast. He also said they started in Seattle and were going to end their tour in Southern California stopping at Disneyland along the way.
The passenger said they were headed to the Elizabeth Inn in Newport for the night. He said they were unaware that the police were trying to pull them over. He said when they pulled over at Mile Post 2 they assumed, based on American Movies, that the police would get on a loudspeaker and tell them to pull over. When the police didn’t, they thought it was okay to keep driving.
The somewhat amused officers explained the law enforcement customs and protocols when driving in the U.S.
The officers did not issue a citation. In fact they assisted with changing the tire and released the Chinese tourists to enjoy the rest of their trip in America.