Car Chase Turns Out to Be Medical Emergency

What Newport Beach police believed to be a drunk motorist driving on the wrong side of the street on Tuesday afternoon turned out to be a medical emergency.

A man who was driving a Mercedes on the wrong side of the road and swerving across lanes in Newport Beach will not face criminal charges, a police official reported today.

On Tuesday at about 4:15 p.m., police responded to a report of a possible drunk driver in the area of Galaxy Drive and Rigel Circle and located the man driving in the area of Irvine Boulevard and Santiago Drive, according to Kathy Lowe, Newport Beach police spokeswoman.

"The driver was driving on the wrong side of the road and swerving across lanes," Lowe said. "Officers attempted to pull the vehicle over, however the driver did not yield."

The officers continued to follow the vehicle, and the driver eventually stopped at Victoria Street and Newport Boulevard.

"Officers evaluated the driver at the scene and determined he was not under the influence but rather suffering from a medical emergency," Lowe said. "While these incidents are not common, occasionally we encounter individuals whose driving is impaired due to medical issues."

Lowe could not comment on the type of medical emergency the man suffered, but said he was taken to a local hospital.


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