Wrong-way driver found 'passed out' on Loop 101 identified

Posted: Updated:
Hyojun Choi. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Hyojun Choi. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Hyojun Choi. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Hyojun Choi. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

Troopers have identified a suspected drunk driver who was arrested after being found "passed out behind the wheel" after driving the wrong way on Loop 101 near Thunderbird Road in Scottsdale.

The Department of Public Safety said the man was 31-year-old Hyojun Choi of Phoenix and was booked on a DUI charge.

The incident happened early Wednesday morning.

According to DPS, Choi originally was headed the right direction but then turned on his blinker and made a U-turn.

Choi then parked against the center wall of the freeway.

MAP: Loop 101 (Pima Freeway) and Thunderbird Road

"Our officers located a vehicle stopped facing northbound in the southbound lanes at approximately Thunderbird," Sgt. Ben Hoster of the Scottsdale Police Department explained in an email response to our inquiry. "The driver was found to be passed out behind the wheel."

DPS arrived to take over the investigation and took Choi into custody without incident. 

While he did not hit anybody, wrecks caused by wrong-way drivers have been a major problem.

Arizona averaged more than two serious or deadly crashes caused by wrong-way drivers per month in 2016.

A recent study shows that from 2004-2014, there were 245 wrong-way crashes in Arizona, resulting in 91 fatalities.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has installed hundreds of oversized warning signs at ramps statewide in an effort to curb the problem.

The agency is planning a wrong-way vehicle detection and warning system for a stretch of Interstate 17 in Phoenix.

[RELATED: ADOT taking steps to reduce number of wrong-way crashes]

[RELATED: Why spike strips won't stop Arizona's wrong-way crashes]

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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