Alan Alt of Margate, Florida was arrested Monday after an officer allegedly spotted him speeding down Interstate 95 with his airbags deployed, news sources report. Alt, 27, reportedly admitted to being in a hit-and-run crash, though the other driver does not appear to have been identified; it is unclear whether they were injured. Alt was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of driving under the influence, hit-and-run, and resisting an officer. A judge ordered that he be held without bail bond. It is not yet known whether Alt has hired a lawyer.
According to reports, this is not Alt’s first tangle with South Florida law enforcement. In 2008, Lauderhill officers arrested Alt on a charge of driving under the influence. In 2012, the North Miami Beach Police Department arrested Alt on charges of selling marijuana and battery on a police officer. The details surrounding those past charges were not immediately available at press time.
This latest incident occurred around 3:48 Monday afternoon, sources say. Alt was reportedly spotted speeding down Interstate 95, north of PGA Boulevard, in Palm Beach Gardens at around 90 miles per hour. Sources say Alt’s airbags were deployed as he drove down the interstate, swerving in and out of the median.
The officer tailed and pulled Alt over. During the traffic stop, the officer observed that Alt smelled of alcohol, had glassy red eyes and slurred speech, and appeared to be foaming at the mouth, sources allege. Alt was reportedly not wearing a shirt or shoes and acting anxious; the officer later had to help Alt out of his vehicle, sources say. When the officer asked whether he had anything to drink, Alt allegedly said, “I did not… wait a minute, I did drink today.”
The officer later asked about the condition of Alt’s car. “I was in an accident today and did not stop,” Alt reportedly replied, saying his “friend” would not press charges. “I tried to hide my gun from you,” Alt allegedly said; it is unclear whether the officer actually located a gun in Alt’s possession.
After this exchange, the officer placed Alt under arrest and loaded him into his patrol car. During the trip back to the police station, Alt became “sleepy,” reports say. It was not immediately clear at press time whether officers located the accident site that Alt allegedly fled. An investigation is ongoing.
Studies have shown that driving under the influence of alcohol exponentially increases a driver’s chance of getting into a crash. According to data collected by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 1,123 alcohol-related crashes in Palm Beach County in 2010. That accounts for nearly three crashes every day.
As with all vehicle accidents, alcohol related crashes can be fatal. The FLHSMV data shows that 31 people died and 754 other were injured in DUI crashes in Palm Beach County in 2010. Over the past decade, many South Florida counties have started to crack down on DUI drivers, enforcing harsher fines and setting up DUI checkpoints.