Police say driver under influence of narcotic painkiller
Valdez police say Lionel Veal, the driver of the Ford Explorer that rolled onto its side while inbound to town near the Salmon Turnaround on the Richardson Highway early Saturday afternoon, was not injured in the single-vehicle wreck.
There were no passengers reported in the accident.
Veal, aged 52, was arrested at the scene and charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence after performing poorly on standardized field sobriety tests administered by Valdez police.
“I observed Veal to have slurred speech, slightly constricted pupils, lack of motor skills and (he) wobbled throughout the entire contact,” Officer Chad Clements said in a sworn affidavit filed with the Valdez Trial Court.
Veal registered .000 on a breathalyzer reading at the city jail but admitted to taking narcotic painkillers before hitting the road.
“At the jail, Veal admitted to taking two Lortab 7.5 mg pills earlier in the day,” charging documents said.
Lortab is a brand-name prescription drug containing acetaminophen and hydrocodone according to the DEA website.
The accident was first reported to police at 1:40 p.m. Saturday, January 7.