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Some crimes are so absurd that even police think they are funny. "Kind of comical" is in fact how one Salem, Massachusetts police lieutenant described the night this week when he saw two men arrested for drunk driving in the same car after switching seats during a series of small crashes.
The accused are Erik Leibowitz, 43, and Juan Rodriguez, 46. The two were recorded on surveillance cameras and were reportedly seen switching seats repeatedly. Unfortunately, that was not enough to rectify the situation and both have been charged with DUI.
A Comical Tale
This tale would not be as amusing if anyone was injured but there are no reports of injury, just a series of crashes that led to this unique DUI. The news reports on this story vary somewhat, but they are all equally absurd.
The version of this story from United Press International (UPI) has the incident starting with a call to police after a sedan was spotted striking a sign on the sidewalk in an area with restaurants and bars just after midnight. The men were then reportedly seen on video surveillance footage switching seats before driving on.
Right after switching seats, the second driver also crashed. He struck a parked car. The Boston Globe reports this as the first crash, UPI as the second (so there may have been four crashes in this two-person-one-car-DUI!).
Whether that was crash one or two, the men then pulled over to see the damage to their vehicle. They stepped out of the car, but when they got back in (having switched seats yet again!) they hit an island while making a U-turn. This small crash blew out the front tire.
Undaunted by the tire trouble, they drove on. But with no working front tire, they took the turn wide and slow. Police, who were watching the dynamic duo, then pulled them over. According to UPI, the men then put the car in reverse and struck the police car that stopped them for the final crash of the night.
"It was kind of comical," Police lieutenant Scott Englehardt told reporters. "It was the first time in my 31 years that I've seen two people get arrested for drunk driving in the same car."