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Willimantic – Police say a Preston man celebrated his 21st birthday on Monday and ended up crossing into oncoming travel lanes and leading a police pursuit through several Windham County towns.
Police said Jackob Tate, 21, of 17 Prodell Road was driving a green pick-up truck when he was spotted traveling the wrong way in the eastbound travel lane of Route 6 in Windham.
At 8:45 p.m. Willimantic police, who had been called in to assist state police in the search, found Tate driving the truck in circles in a parking lot in Columbia. When the officer tried to stop the truck, police said, Tate sped off and turned east on Route 66 towards Willimantic.
Police chased Tate on Route 66 back towards Willimantic. Police said Tate was weaving in and out of the oncoming travel lane at a high rate of speed before he was finally stopped on Columbia Avenue in Willimantic.
A search of Tate's vehicle revealed two open bottles of alcohol, police said.
Tate was arrested at the scene and charged with numerous criminal and motor vehicle violations, including driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving and drinking while driving. Police said tests showed Tate's blood alcohol level at twice the legal limit.
Tate was held in lieu of a $1,500 bond and was expected to appear at a later date in Danielson Superior Court.
"With the absolutely unsafe and hazardous driving witnessed by the Willimantic officers and the reports we received from the state police, it's miraculous that this incident didn't end in a serious accident," " said Willimantic Corporal Matthew Solak, in a written statement. "Someone's 21st birthday should never be an excuse to overindulge"