SANTA BARBARA — The spate of wrong-way drivers on local area freeways continued Thursday with the arrest of Carpinteria resident Laurie Michelle Andrews on charges of DUI.
Witnesses spotted Andrews driving southbound in the northbound lanes of U.S. 101 and, by the time they alerted authorities via cell phone, Andrews had exited the freeway at the northbound Bath Street off-ramp — still headed in the wrong direction.
By the time California Highway Patrol units caught up with Andrews’ Ford Expedition, she had traversed several blocks of downtown Santa Barbara traffic. CHP Officer Dan Ralph made the traffic stop, and upon interrogation of Andrews learned that she was “lost on her way home” after a night of “partying with friends” in the area.
Officer Ralph detected alcohol odors, conducted field sobriety tests and summarily made the arrest. Andrews’ husband was in the passenger seat of the Expedition and, after a verbal exchange with CHP officers that indicated his high level of intoxication, was himself arrested for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
This arrest marks the fifth such wrong-way episode on local area freeways in the past several months, many of which have resulted in death and serious injury.