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Sweeden Charged with driving under the influence

Thursday, May 20, 2021 - A Sallisaw man was arrested May 8 and charged with driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, court records show.

Eric Sweeden, 44, faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500 if convicted on the felony charge as well as a minimum of 28 days of treatment followed by 30 days of aftercare at his expense, or treatment, imprisonment and a fine.

On May 8, a Vian police officer was in his patrol unit in a business parking lot when he was approached by a convertible Chevrolet Corvette. The driver told the officer he had followed a white Chevy that was weaving from side to side and driving into oncoming traffic at speeds of 70 mph or more. The driver said the vehicle had turned into the Dollar General store on U.S. Highway 82 in Vian. The officer immediately notified Sequoyah County dispatch that there was a possible intoxicated driver headed south into Vian and that he was on his way to try and intercept the vehicle.

As the officer approached the Dollar General, a Sequoyah County Sheriff's unit pulled in behind him. The Vian officer pulled into a nearby parking lot and saw a white Chevy Suburban at the Dollar General, where it was backing up to leave. The vehicle then turned south on Highway 82 and drove past the Vian police officer. The officer then initiated a traffic stop.

When the officer made contact with the driver, identified as Sweeden, the man was on the phone telling the other party he was getting ready to go to jail. The smell of alcohol was reportedly coming from the inside of the vehicle. The officer explained why he was stopping Sweeden, citing a non-working brake light and the fact that he crossed left of center a few times while driving. Sweeden said he did not have a driver's license, so he knew he was going to jail. When asked how much alcohol he'd had that day, Sweeden stated that he'd had two open beers in the vehicle and that he tried to dump one and hide the other.

Sweeden underwent several field-sobriety tests, which he failed. He was transported to the Sallisaw Police Department, where his blood-alcohol content was 0.10.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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