A troubled Al Unser, Jr. faces legal charges once again after a he failed several roadside sobriety tests in his hometown of Henderson, Nevada on Thursday. Unser, Jr. was followed by local police to within a block of his home following a hit and run accident in which he was involved.
Unser was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence, Misdemeanor Hit and Run, Failure to Help, Failure to Report, and Unsafe Lane Change in the incident according to Nevada state trooper Kevin Honea.
The arrest was made near the Black Mountain Country club only miles from the Las Vegas Strip.
The driver of the other car, a Mazda sedan, swerved and hit a cement barrier in the median of the highway as he and Unser traveled along the Las Vegas Beltway mid-morning on Thursday. Unser apparently side-swiped the driver and continued without stopping to assist or inquire of the other party's safety afterwards.
A witness in a third car observed the incident and followed Unser's black Ford Excursion SUV until Nevada state troopers stopped the 1992 and 1994 Indianapolis 500 winner alongside US Highway 95 freeway to investigate. The other driver was uninjured in the incident. There was no damage to Unser's vehicle.
Al Unser, Jr. faced embarrassing alcohol-related accusations in July, 2002 when his girlfriend accused him of punching her in the face and abandoning her alongside a multi-lane Indianapolis highway at night. Unser entered alcoholic rehabilitation and treatment of depression following the incident. Prosecutors later dropped the charges of domestic battery against him.
Unser, Jr. has been racing competitively since age 11. The forty-four year old professional racing driver is one of only twenty men to hold multiple Daytona 24 Hours victories (1986 and 1987) and won the Indianapolis 500 twice (1992 and 1994). He made a successful comeback recently in May of 2006, driving the "We The People" A1 Team USA open-wheel racer in the Indianapolis 500 for the Dreyer & Reinbold racing team.
The two-time CART and IROC champion is the son of four-time Indy winner Al Unser, Sr. and the nephew of three-time winner Bobby Unser.
Andrew Leavitt, a lawyer representing Unser, did not immediately respond Friday to a message seeking comment.