Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

Wrong way driver on Palmetto and I-95 arrested early Wednesday

Chelsea Paige Halter faces three DUI charges and a reckless driving charge.
Chelsea Paige Halter faces three DUI charges and a reckless driving charge.

Biscayne Park’s Chelsea Halter drove east on the Palmetto Expressway then south on Interstate 95 without killing anyone around 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Except Halter was driving east on the Palmetto’s westbound lanes and south on I-95’s northbound lanes. And she finished doing so on the rim of her left front tire after a blowout.

Police said Halter, 24, also did so reeking of alcohol, a still-cold bottle of Southern Comfort and a baggie of marijuana in the car when finally stopped. That’s why Halter’s odyssey ended in county jail, charged with two counts of driving under the influence with property or personal damage, one count of DUI, one count of reckless driving and one count of leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. She also got hit with two misdemeanors, marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession.

Halter caused several accidents in North Miami-Dade near the Golden Glades Interchange, one of which sent a driver to the hospital, according to Herald news partner CBS4.

Halter managed to go the wrong way through the Golden Glades spaghetti bowl and onto I-95 north. The arrest report gives a Road Ranger credit for trying to stop Halter, alas, without success.

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper exiting the Dolphin Expressway eastbound toward I-95 north wrote in the report he suddenly found himself facing an oncoming Halter. After he managed to stop Halter, the trooper noticed “a strong odor of alcoholic beverage” as he put the car in park and turned off the ignition.

In addition to an alcoholic odor, the trooper noticed glassy eyes, the bottle of alcohol and baggie of marijuana. Later, Halter completed the standard field sobriety exercise before refusing to do any more. She also refused a breath test.

A records search of Halter turned up three tickets, all dismissed, and no previous driving convictions.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal