January 26, 2007 / 8:50 PM / 11 years ago

Indy 500 champ Al Unser Jr. arrested for drunk driving

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and hit-and-run, Nevada police said on Friday.

Unser was taken into custody near Henderson, Nevada, on Thursday after he failed field sobriety tests given to him by officers investigating a hit-and-run, Nevada State Trooper Kevin Honea said.

Unser, 44, was booked on charges of hit-and-run, failing to report an accident, making an unsafe lane change and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Al Unser Jr. of the United States gives a thumbs-up while sitting in the cockpit of his Kelley Racing IndyCar, on the second scheduled day of qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in this May 11, 2003 file photo. Unser was arrested near Henderson, Nevada January 26, 2007 on suspicion of drunk driving and hit and run, police said on Friday. REUTERS/Brent Smith

Honea said troopers responded to an accident outside Las Vegas shortly after 11 a.m. on Thursday in which a car crashed into a freeway median after being sideswiped by a Ford Excursion

that had fled the scene and was being pursued by other drivers.

When the Excursion got off the freeway near Henderson, police approached the sports utility vehicle to find Unser at the wheel.

“Mr. Unser failed all of the sobriety tests given to him and was placed under arrest,” Honea said, adding that the car racer had since been released from custody.

Unser, the son of car racing legend Al Unser, won the Indianapolis 500 in 1992 and 1994.

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