Yet another wrong-way driver on a Tampa area road was arrested Saturday night.
Around 10:15 p.m., a Tampa police officer spotted a 2001 Ford Taurus going south in the northbound lanes of N Nebraska Avenue near Linebaugh Avenue. The officer stopped the vehicle and gave the driver, 46-year-old Lale Atkinson, a field sobriety test.
Atkinson was arrested and charged with DUI and driving the wrong way. Her blood alcohol content was found to be .160, or twice the legal limit, according to police.
There were no injuries or property damage, but the case added to a surge in wrong-way incidents on Tampa-area roads this year.
Eleven people have died in crashes on interstate highways in Hillsborough and Pasco counties since February. Others found driving the wrong way on either interstates or other roadways were fortunate enough to only be arrested.
In September, Chamberlain High School teacher Kevin Smisor was arrested and charged with DUI after he drove on the Selmon Expressway and then I-75 in Gibstonton. More recently, Hillary Wittle struck a Tampa police cruiser while traveling north on N Armenia Avenue, a one-way southbound road in Tampa. She was also charged with DUI.
And last Sunday, another Tampa police officer had to swerve to avoid a wrong-way driver on I-275 near Howard Avenue in Tampa. The officer turned around and chased down the driver, Josean Carrasquillo, who was arrested and charged with DUI.