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Driver not nabbed for DUII

Impairment was because of too much New Years Eve


Besides being detained and distressed, a Happy Valley man was happy he didn’t have to go to jail on the first day of the year.

A Sandy officer stopped the man, later identified as Nicholas Watson, 21, because he was speeding on Highway 211 near Bornstedt Road.

Watson was observed stopping at an address on Highway 211 and quickly switching positions in the car with his female passenger.

The officer later determined that his license was suspended.

But the officer knew who was driving, so he questioned Watson, who the officer said was reeking of alcohol and appeared distressed, sick and had poor balance. His voice was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and watery — all the signs of an intoxicated driver.

But Watson refused to participate in field sobriety tests. Therefore he was arrested on the accusation of driving while intoxicated.

“He was obviously under the effects of something,” the officer later told The Post. “We weren’t able to say definitively it was alcohol.”

Back at the Sandy Police Department, Watson finally consented to take the breath test, which he passed.

“The signs of impairment were something else,” the officer said, “fatigue or illness or, in Watson’s case, hangover.

“He was very physically ill here at the police department. He was throwing up, and just not having a good day.”

Watson apparently had celebrated the New Year too much the night before, and at nearly midday Jan. 1 he was heavily hung over, police reported.

He was referred to a drug recognition expert, but with no results. After significant vomiting, Watson appeared to feel better, and the breath test showed no alcohol. There is no test or citation for impairment because of a hangover, but he still was suspected of violating some laws.

The officer cited Watson for driving while suspended, not having proof of liability insurance and for speeding. The vehicle was towed, and Watson was free to walk out of the police station without criminal charges.