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Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. facing drunk driving charge

A routine traffic stop during the early hours on May 20 led to a night behind bars for the former race car driver Al Unser Jr. The 57-year-old racing legend has competed in the Indianapolis 500 on 19 occasions and took the chequered flag in 1992 and 1994. He was taken into custody by police in Hendricks County after his vehicle was pulled over on Ronald Reagan Parkway at approximately 3:21 a.m.

Unser was booked on suspicion of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. An Avon Police Department officer signaled his Volkswagen sedan to pull over after allegedly observing it exceeding the posted speed limit and straying between lanes. The officer says that Unser's eyes were red and glassy and his speech was slurred. He was brought into custody after allegedly refusing to take a sobriety test and stumbling down an embankment.

Police reports reveal that samples of Unser's blood were collected at a nearby law enforcement facility after officers obtained a search warrant. Unser allegedly acted belligerently toward officers during the process and continued to maintain that he had not been drinking. He posted bond and was released the following afternoon. The incident does not mark the first time that Unser has been accused of drunk driving. Records indicate that he has been charged with the offense on at least three occasions.

It's easy to understand that the prospect of drunk driving sanctions and a long driving ban could prompt anger. However, legal counsel would likely encourage an individual in such a situation to cooperate with police officers and refrain from behavior that could make securing a favorable plea agreement more difficult. An attorney may also urge a suspect to not make any statements that could later be proved false by toxicology evidence.

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