St. George man arrested after allegedly striking two houses while driving under the influence

ST. GEORGE — A St. George man is facing misdemeanor charges after allegedly striking and damaging two homes in Bloomington Hills while allegedly driving under the influence in the early hours of the morning.

One of the homes hit by an intoxicated driver on Ft. Pierce Drive, St. George, Utah, Nov. 12, 2019 | Photo by Ryann Richardson, St. George News

According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, St. George police were dispatched to Mr. D’s Chevron on River Road just after 6 a.m. on Nov. 8. Responding officers discovered a vehicle with a large portion of bricks sitting on the windshield and its front end severely damaged.

The man behind the wheel, 58-year-old Dale John Burgess, was sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition and the engine running. Burgess told police he was traveling to a meeting when he drove off of the roadway on Ft. Pierce Drive and struck a home.

Police found he had actually struck two homes. One of the homeowners had followed him to the gas station where they called officials. Burgess told police he left the scene of the accidents because he was scared and was unsure of what to do.

One of the officers on scene reported that he noticed Burgess’ words were slurred and that the driver was swaying in a circular motion. Officials conducted a field sobriety test, and Burgess said he was unable to complete the Nine Step Walk and One Leg Stand assessments.

Dale John Burgess, 58, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Nov. 8, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Officers decided this, in conjunction with Burgess hitting the homes with his car, indicated he was too impaired to safely operate a vehicle, and he was placed under arrest for driving under the influence.

During a search of Burgess’ vehicle, officers discovered two empty bottles of vanilla extract. Pure vanilla extract contains a minimum of 35% alcohol, which is the equivalent to Captain Morgan rum, according to the Food and Drug Association.

Burgess was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center via patrol car for medical clearance and refused to voluntarily offer a blood sample to police. Officials secured a warrant and obtained two vials of blood before Burgess was transported to Washington County Correctional Facility, where he is facing a class B misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence and a class C misdemeanor charge of failure to remain at the scene of an accident.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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