Man Jumps Off Bridge to Escape DUI Test

Survives, is arrested in New Orleans

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 13, 2012 2:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – We're going to go ahead and call this the worst way to get out of a ticket. A New Orleans-area man jumped off the Causeway Bridge over Lake Pontchartrain Sunday after being pulled over by police and asked to take a sobriety test, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Police stopped Thomas Robert Harter, 44, halfway across the bridge about 5:40pm, after another motorist reported his car swerving and speeding.

Harter got out of the car without being asked, waving his arms in the air. Police say he was swaying and smelled of alcohol, so they asked him to perform a field sobriety test. He agreed, but then "bolted" and leapt into the water 20 feet below. The water was rough and the winds high, but Harter managed to grab a utility building at the base of the bridge. He was hauled out of the 60-degree water intact, and arrested for what will be his eighth drunk-driving charge.

Storm clouds cross over Lake Pontchartrain, Monday, Aug. 27, 2007 in Metairie, La. a suburb of New Orleans. The Causeway Bridge, left, is 24 miles long and runs across Lake Pontchartrain.
Storm clouds cross over Lake Pontchartrain, Monday, Aug. 27, 2007 in Metairie, La. a suburb of New Orleans. The Causeway Bridge, left, is 24 miles long and runs across Lake Pontchartrain.   (AP Photo/Judi Bottoni)
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