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Orem man driving cherry picker arrested for DUI, police say

OREM — Police in Orem say it is one of the most bizarre DUI arrests they have ever made, primarily because of what the man was driving.

“You have residences right there, and why the guy just jumped in and thought he should just take it for a spin is beyond me,” Orem Police Lt. Craig Martinez said.

The cherry picker lift was parked at 650 N. 100 West in Orem. Around 11:45 p.m. Sunday, police say a 39-year-old man who had been drinking alcohol and was under the influence of prescription drugs, decided to get in and drive it away.

The officer was responding to a call of loud noises disturbing the peace. A short clip of a police officer’s body camera video posted on the Orem Police Department’s Facebook page shows what the officer saw when he arrived on the scene.

"That is kind of odd to see a cherry picker being driven around just before midnight on a city street, but it got a little more odd when he started talking to the driver, had him come out of the boom, starting talking to him, could smell some alcohol and see that maybe his ability to drive wasn't all that good. So he ran him through some field sobriety tests,” Martinez said.

Police say the man didn’t travel very far, but had he continued driving it, he could have put himself and others at risk.

“It is bad enough to arrest people for DUI when you are driving a car, but this was a big piece of heavy construction equipment. He could have hurt himself or someone else.” Martinez said.

While the clip is generating a lot of buzz on social media, police hope it is another reminder about why driving under the influence is always a bad idea.

“You know we joke a little bit about it only because of how odd this is,” Martinez said. “In 19 years of law enforcement, I have never heard of someone being arrested for DUI for driving a cherry picker. There’s been some pretty odd things we have arrested people for driving under the influence of, but this one takes the cake.”

The man, who police say lives in the neighborhood, was cited and released to the custody of his wife. Police say they are awaiting the results of a blood test before deciding what charges they will recommend to prosecutors.

Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc