ADOT: System detects first wrong-way driver on I-17 - Tucson News Now

ADOT: System detects first wrong-way driver on I-17

Jeffrey Daley, 51, arrested on DUI charges after being detected driving the wrong-way on I-17 by ADOT's wrong-way driver detection system. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Jeffrey Daley, 51, arrested on DUI charges after being detected driving the wrong-way on I-17 by ADOT's wrong-way driver detection system. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Jeffrey Daley, 51 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Jeffrey Daley, 51 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
ADOT's wrong-way thermal detection system spotted a wrong-way driver on the I-17's main lanes. (Source: ADOT) ADOT's wrong-way thermal detection system spotted a wrong-way driver on the I-17's main lanes. (Source: ADOT)
(Source: Arizona Department of Transportation) (Source: Arizona Department of Transportation)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

For the first time since the Arizona Department of Transportation installed its wrong-way detection system, a wrong-way driver was detected on the Interstate 17 as opposed to just on the ramps.

At 1:11 a.m. on Thursday, the thermal camera spotted a driver going south in the northbound lanes of the I-17 at Union Hills Road. The driver got off the freeway shortly after and then got back on the I-17 going the right way on the northbound side.

Troopers with the Department of Public Safety then pulled the driver over and he was arrested on suspicion of DUI, ADOT said. 

The driver has been identified as 51-year-old Jeffrey Daley

According to court documents, Daley admitted drinking four to five beers before getting behind the wheel. A breath test administered in the field showed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.150, which is the lower threshold for a charge of extreme DUI.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Wrong-way drivers]

The wrong-way detection was installed in January. There have been other wrong-way driver detections but they were just on the on ramps.

There are 90 thermal cameras installed along 15 miles of the Black Canyon Freeway.

[RELATED: Wrong-way drivers: ADOT’s thermal camera detection system to become reality (July 28, 2017)]

Anytime there is a wrong-way driver detected, a loud horn sounds in ADOT's Traffic Operations Center and also goes to DPS to help troopers track down the potential wrong-way driver.

[VIDEO: ADOT's thermal cameras detect two wrong-way drivers (Sept. 11, 2017)]

The detection also shows video from the thermal camera for officials to see. They can activate message boards in the area and alert drivers about the potential danger.

If the detection is at an off-ramp, an internally illuminated wrong-way sign with red flashing LEDs will activate, ADOT said. 

ADOT said the $4 million system has detected more than 20 drivers heading onto the I-17 using off-ramps and frontage roads.

[RELATED: Thermal cameras along I-17 have begun detecting wrong-way drivers]

The agency hasn't said if or when they will expand the system to the other freeways in the Valley. The sign is along the ramp to gain the attention of the wrong-way drivers who are often impaired.

ADOT said it is planning to install a wrong-way detection system along the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway. It'll be operational in late 2019. ADOT said it's looking into adding the system to other Valley freeways.

[RELATED: DPS director says wrong-way crashes are social issue]

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

[RELATED: State Rep. considers law requiring spike strips to stop wrong-way drivers]

[PDF: Jeffrey Daley's court paperwork]

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