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I-81 truckers stop wrong-way DUI suspect

Rain Smith • May 21, 2019 at 1:36 PM

KINGSPORT — An allegedly drunk motorist was arrested Monday night after driving north on southbound lanes of Interstate 81, then getting boxed in by truck drivers working together to stop him.

According to Kingsport Police Department records, the suspect, Larry Todd Blazer, 45, of Marietta, Pa., admitted to drinking "too much" and uttered "I'm guilty!" He faces charges of driving under the influence and reckless endangerment.

At about 10:40 p.m., Central Dispatch began receiving calls about Blazer's 2006 Honda Accord. It was first reported at Colonial Heights' Exit 59 in the southbound lanes but heading north into oncoming traffic.

Soon, a tractor-trailer driver told dispatch that he also encountered Blazer's car coming head on. He then remained on the line to relay Blazer's position.

"At one point, the car attempted to turn back around and backed into the guardrail as he was maneuvering," reads a KPD report. "Once other tractor-trailer drivers realized that the driver was trying to get around them, several other semi trucks were able to block the highway, preventing the car from continuing."

Responding police found Blazer stopped in the middle of I-81 near mile marker 60, his car in gear and engine running. An officer reported a strong odor of alcohol coming from inside the car, while an empty pint of Johnny Bootlegger was in the center console.

Due to being stopped in lanes of traffic and Blazer allegedly being unsteady on his feet, a sobriety test was not conducted at the scene. Blazer reportedly admitted to drinking alcohol and agreed to submit to a blood draw at Indian Path Medical Center. After signing his name to a consent form for the latter, he allegedly stated, "I'm guilty!"

Following a trip to the hospital, Blazer was booked into the Kingsport city jail. He reportedly told police that he was trying to get to a friend's house in Tennessee.

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