Two wrong-way drivers stopped on SR-51 overnight; both arrested on DUI charges

Posted at 4:40 AM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 00:36:53-05

Troopers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety stopped two separate drivers who were going the wrong-way on SR-51 early Wednesday morning. 

According to DPS, one incident was first reported on Loop 101 before a trooper was able to make contact with the vehicle on SR-51 near 32nd Street.  

The driver started to slow down while being pulled over, but took off again, hitting the trooper's patrol vehicle, causing a minor wrist injury.  

The driver, 33-year-old Christopher Farruggio, was taken into custody and jailed on charges of DUI, aggravated assault and endangerment.

Northbound lanes of SR-51 were closed at Northern Avenue, but reopened after 5 a.m. 

In a separate incident, the wrong-way driver was reported on SR-51, entered at Northern Avenue and then turned around and exited. Officials stopped the car and arrested the driver, 29-year-old Abdullah Halamiah. He was booked on a charge of DUI. 

The Arizona Department of Transportation will announce a pilot program this year that could include wrong-way sensors on I-17, a spokesperson said.

Radar that detected wrong-way drivers and flashing wrong-way signs saved 58 lives over a five-year period during a pilot program on a Texas highway, KSAT-TV reported.

Alcohol is involved in a majority of wrong-way incidents in Arizona, according to DPS.