Man accused of veering into oncoming traffic, steers self into more charges


A man is accused of veering into oncoming traffic on State Route 238 on March 28, giving officers a false name and date of birth, and having drugs in his vehicle after a police K9’s “open-air sniff” alerted them. 

Jason Austgen, 40, was booked into Pinal County jail on suspicion of reckless driving, resisting arrest, aggravated DUI, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Maricopa police. 

At 6:55 p.m., Maricopa officers saw a vehicle, driven by Austgen, swerving out of its lane and veering into oncoming traffic on SR 238. Officers stopped Austgen near North Ralston Road. 

Austgen reportedly gave officers a false name and date of birth. Police tried to put Austgen in custody, but he refused to comply. Austgen was pulled from the vehicle and taken to the ground, according to a probable-cause statement. 

According to Maricopa police, Austgen stated he lied about his name and date of birth because his driving privileges were suspended. 

Police began a DUI investigation, and reported they observed additional signs of impairment. Those details were not released. 

Officers deployed K9 Karma and conducted an “open-air sniff” of the vehicle, which gave a positive alert for the odor of narcotics. During a search of the vehicle, police reported finding methamphetamine, fentanyl pills and drug paraphernalia.