Swerving driver arrested on DUI charge in Pahrump


A Nye County Sheriff’s deputy was at the right place at the right time while on routine patrol on Sunday, just after 12 p.m.

The deputy, driving along West Highway 372 near Leslie Street was following the driver of a red Dodge pickup truck which failed to maintain its lane.

“The vehicle was seen swerving over the fog line almost the whole width of the vehicle twice, and re-entering the highway,” the declaration of arrest stated. “I conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, where once I activated my lights, the driver swerved into the right shoulder and overcorrected the vehicle in an attempt to re-enter the road. It then came to a rest.”

The deputy made contact with the driver, identified by authorities as Christi Morrell, 47, of Pahrump.

“While speaking to Christi, the deputy could not smell the odor of alcohol,” the deputy said. “Christi told me that she had not had anything to drink, however she was taking blood pressure medication for years. When asked about her driving, she claimed that the vehicle’s alignment was off.”

Morrell, according to the deputy, agreed to undergo a field sobriety test.

“The following tests were conducted on a flat dirt area with little to no rocks,” the deputy said. “Christi was asked medical questions and I determined that she was okay to conduct the test. I administered the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which showed unsatisfactory results. Due to her loss of balance and not following my finger multiple times, I stopped the test.”

The deputy then administered the standard one-leg stand test where, according to the deputy, Morrell displayed unsatisfactory results.

“It should be noted that I ended the test due to a lack of balance and failing to follow directions on Christi’s part,” the deputy said. “I then administered the walk-and-turn test where she also showed unsatisfactory results. I then administered the Romberg balance test where she again showed unsatisfactory results.”

Morrell was eventually determined to be driving while impaired, authorities reported.

She was placed under arrest and transported to the Nye County Detention Center, where a blood draw was conducted and booked into evidence for further testing.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes