DUI Suspect Arrested after Smashing into Concrete Center Divider

November 7, 2012


A San Marcos woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI after she tried to make a U-turn on the Interstate 15 freeway in Temecula ~ ramming her truck into the center median, CHP officials said. Apparently, she was so intoxicated that she tried to drive right through the concrete divider in an attempt to turn around.

In the early afternoon on Monday, Nov. 5, Marlies L. Petersen, 53, was observed by a witness trying to make a slow-speed U-turn through the concrete median on northbound I~15 near Temecula Parkway. According to California Highway Patrol officials, Petersen had been driving her Ford F-150 so erratically that a Menifee man called 911 and cautiously followed her as she headed north on Interstate. Around 2:10 p.m., the witness, Dave Iverson, not only observed her trying to make one failed attempt through the solid barrier, but two unbelievable attempts.

Petersen's Ford truck became stuck in the soft dirt of the median and Iverson, who still had his eyes on her, took the opportunity to help the suspected drunk driver. According to CHP Officer Nathan Baer, Iverson spotted the truck's reverse lights go on as he obseverved the driver "flooring it". Fearing the unpredictable driver might reverse her pickup backwards into freeway traffic, he got out of his vehicle and approached Petersen. Fortunately, he convinced her to stop the truck and hand over her keys.

Officer Baer said he arrived a few minutes later, discovering the woman was so intoxicated that she had difficulty standing and walking on her own. Peterson told him she thought she was heading towards Valley Center. She was booked into the Southwest Detention Facility on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI charges and released later that day, according to jail records.

I absolutely commend Dave Iverson for being a Good Samaritan ~ his thoughtful act prevented a tragedy from happening. We have yet to know what caused Marlies Petersen to make one reckless decision after another. She was truly fortunate to have a concerned citizen watching over her, for her mindless actions could have lead to disastrous consequences.

It is imperative that drivers realize that the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol can be severe ~ even if it is your first arrest and charge for a DUI offense. The best choice is always to not drink and drive!


Sources: "Suspected Drunken Driver Tries U-turns into Concrete Wall" ~ North County Times,
November 6, 2012

TEMECULA: "DUI Suspect Attempts U-turn Through Concrete Wall" ~ The Press~Enterprise,
November 6, 2012