A Durango man who drove erratically, eluded police and surrendered after a brief standoff with a sheriff’s deputy was given two years probation Thursday in District Court.
Kenneth Tozer III, 29, pleaded guilty to drunken driving and felony vehicular eluding, which will be deferred, or wiped from his record, in two years if he successfully completes terms of his probation.
As part of his plea agreement, Tozer will participate in behavioral health court, an intense supervisory program that will require him to obtain a mental health evaluation and comply with recommendations – which may include treatment and counseling.
He also must abstain from alcohol and complete 48 hours of public service.
Tozer was driving a 1997 Dodge pickup north on East Animas Road (County Road 250) at 12:55 p.m. Nov. 2 when he passed another driver in a no-passing zone in excess of 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to an arrest affidavit.
A La Plata County sheriff’s deputy traveling the opposite direction pulled onto the shoulder of the road to avoid being hit head-on, according to the affidavit.
The deputy turned around and gave chase, but Tozer sped away. The deputy spotted the red pickup driving in circles near East Animas Road and Trimble Lane (County Road 252). Tozer then drove to North Dalton Ranch Road, where he stopped and refused to exit the vehicle.
The deputy held Tozer at gunpoint until backup units arrived.
Neither Tozer nor his Durango defense lawyer, Richard Jaye, made any statements to the court before sentencing.
A presentence investigation said Tozer appears to be at minimal risk for further criminal activity, and he has performed well while on bail.