DARIEN, Conn. -- A Stamford man was arrested on drunken driving charges in Darien after police said he fell asleep in the driver's seat of a running car.
At around 1:19 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30 Darien Police were called to the area of Mansfield Avenue and Stephen Mather Road on a report of a gold SUV driven by a man who "appeared confused," police said. Subsequent calls by passers-by described the driver as unconscious.
Police arrived and found the gold SUV stopped in the center of the roadway on Talmadge Hill Road, police said. Officers approached and saw that the driver, later identified as 38-year-old Carlos Merlos of Stamford, was sitting unconscious in the driver's seat, according to police. The car was still running and the transmission was in drive, police said.
An officer tapped on the window and woke Merlos up, and officers could see his eyes were shot and glassy, police said. He was told several times to put his car in park, but police said he appeared disoriented and did not comply. An officer opened the door, at which point Merlos's foot came off the brake and the car started to move forward, police said.
The officer was able to apply the brake and put the car in park. Merlos was removed from the car, and officers could smell alcohol on him, according to police. He was unsteady on his feet, and was told to sit on the shoulder of the road while police moved his car out of the road and into a nearby driveway, police said.
Merlos said he did not have any alcohol, but could not answer questions about where he was coming from or going to, police said. He failed his field sobriety tests and was taken into custody.
Police searched his car and found an empty Bacardi rum bottle in the back seat. But when asked, Merlos said he had been drinking tequila, according to police. At headquarters, police tried to administer a breathalyzer test three times, but each time the machine indicated that he was inhaling rather than exhaling, according to police. Because of this, it was logged as a refusal to comply.
Merlos was charged with driving under the influence, operating a motor vehicle without a license and failure to drive in the proper lane. He was released on a $250 bond and will appear in court on June 9.
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