ST. GEORGE — A Provo man is in jail after a pursuit was set in motion when the suspect allegedly passed a Utah Highway Patrol trooper at triple-digit speeds on Interstate 15 near the Hurricane Exit late Sunday night.
Shortly before 10:30 p.m., a UHP trooper was parked in the median of I-15 near Exit 16 running stationary radar when a black BMW passenger car heading north went by “at a high rate of speed,” the trooper noted in the probable cause statement submitted to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review.
The trooper clocked the driver’s speed at 118 mph a few seconds before the BMW began to slow down, at which point the trooper pulled out from the median and activated his emergency lights.
The BMW continued at more than 100 mph for approximately 8 miles as he navigated his way through traffic, taking the Leeds exit directly behind a Kia passenger car with the trooper closing in.
The BMW rolled through the stop sign and passed the Kia, at which point the trooper lost sight of the car.
According to the report, the Kia pulled off the roadway and stopped on the shoulder to allow police to pass, and when the trooper pulled off onto the right shoulder across from the Kia, the driver rolled down his window and told the officer the BMW was heading south on Old Highway 91.
The trooper followed suit and shortly after located the BMW stopped on the side of the highway several miles south of the Leeds.
The trooper approached the driver’s side window where he found the man, later identified as 26-year-old Daniel Larins, of Provo, talking on his cell phone and asked him why he was “driving at 118 mph,” the trooper noted in the report. Larins gave an inaudible response and said he was talking to his mother.
The trooper also noted a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle as the suspect handed him his New York driver’s license and insurance information from his phone.
Larins was given a field sobriety test, which he failed after the trooper reported observing “6 out of 6 clues” indicating impairment during the first part of the test. Larins was arrested for DUI after failing the remaining exercises.
When the suspect was told he would be charged with evading, he denied seeing the officer’s lights behind him, telling the trooper he was on the phone with his mother at the time.
After multiple attempts to explain the reason for the stop and the arrest, the suspect “talked in circles” and allegedly refused to answer the officer’s questions.
A records check later revealed the suspect had prior convictions for DUI, and while his New York driver’s license came back as valid, his driving privileges in Utah were revoked, according to the report.
The driver told the trooper he was headed to Las Vegas at the time of the traffic stop, despite the fact that he was heading north on I-15 when he passed the trooper. During a subsequent interview he told the trooper he was returning home to Provo.
The report also stated that a blood draw performed later revealed a .16 blood alcohol content, more than three times the legal limit of .05 in Utah.
The suspect was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility on felony DUI and failing to stop at command of police, along with several misdemeanors, including reckless driving, driving on a revoked license, driving without an interlock device and alcohol restricted driver. He remains in custody on $11,570 bail.
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