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Erratic driver headed to behavioral health court

Durango man pleads guilty to DUI, eluding

A Durango man who was driving wildly and fled from a sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty Monday to drunken driving and vehicular eluding.

Kenneth Tozer III, 28, is expected to be sentenced to behavioral health court, which will require him to obtain a mental health evaluation and comply with the recommendations – which may include treatment, counseling and intense supervision.

If he’s accepted into the program, and successfully completes behavior court, the felony charge for vehicular eluding will be wiped from his criminal record, in accordance with a plea agreement he signed Monday with the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Tozer, who is free on bail, was driving a 1997 red Dodge pickup north on East Animas Road (County Road 250) at 12:55 p.m. Nov. 2 when he passed another driver in a no-passing zone in excess of 60 mph in a 45 mph zone.

La Plata County Sheriff’s Deputy Thad McNeely was traveling south when he saw Tozer pull into his oncoming lane, forcing the deputy to pull onto the shoulder of the road to avoid being hit head-on, according to an arrest affidavit.

The deputy activated his overhead lights, but Tozer sped away. The deputy turned around and pursued the red pickup to Trimble Lane (County Road 252), where Tozer turned left and headed west. The deputy found Tozer driving erratically in circles on the sides of Trimble Lane. He then drove to North Dalton Ranch Road, where he stopped and refused to exit the vehicle.

Deputy McNeely held Tozer at gunpoint until backup units arrived to help take him into custody.

Tozer had alcohol on his breath, but he was uncooperative during his arrest and did not submit to a blood-alcohol test. While in handcuffs, he twice maneuvered his feet through his arms so that his hands were no longer cuffed behind him, according to the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.


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