Ballston Spa man allegedly drove drunk with alcohol interlock device in car
AMSTERDAM A Ballston Spa man allegedly drove a vehicle outfitted with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device while he was intoxicated at 2 1⁄2 times the legal limit, according to city police.
Michael R. Heimburg, 29, of 320 Moonlight Drive, was charged with driving while intoxicated, a felony; felony DWI because of a previous conviction; aggravated unlicensed operation; operating a vehicle in violation of an interlock device; and several traffic violations.
Heimburg was charged March 30. When police stopped the car, they found it contained an open 12-pack of Labatt Blue beer, with four missing cans; two long guns, two dogs, a passenger and the interlock device. The passenger was not charged.
The interlock device is designed to prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has alcohol in his or her system. Police said they do not know how Heimburg was able to operate the vehicle with the interlock device. Heimburg said the vehicle was not his.
According to the police report, a driver first spotted the vehicle Heimburg was operating, a dark-colored Toyota with a green canoe on top, driving erratically on the state Thruway and reported the incident to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies checked the area but were unable to locate the vehicle.
Amsterdam police then received two calls of a vehicle matching the Toyota’s description squealing tires and driving erratically on Clizbe and Locust avenues. Officers again couldn’t locate the vehicle.
Then a city police officer saw the vehicle pass police headquarters and stop at a traffic light at Guy Park Avenue and Church Street. The officer stopped the vehicle after it turned left without signaling.
When the officer approached Heimburg’s vehicle, he detected a strong odor of alcohol and saw that Heimburg’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot. The officer asked Heimburg for his license, and Heimburg told police he did not have a license because of a prior DWI.
According to the report, Heimburg told the officer he wanted to get out of the car but was told to remain inside. His response was, “What’s the difference. I’m going away for a long time,” and motioned his hands as if he was wearing handcuffs, according to police.
After police backup arrived, Heimburg was asked to exit the vehicle and, according to the report, stumbled out and had to be prevented from falling by officers. He subsequently failed several field sobriety tests, at one point falling backward into the vehicle when asked to stand on one leg.
“At this time, it was decided not to continue with the field task for his safety,” the police report stated.
Heimburg was arrested and taken to police headquarters, where he agreed to undergo a breath test. According to the police report, the test measured his BAC at 0.20 percent.