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Police ask DWI suspect if he's been drinking: 'Yes, a lot!'

After City of Tonawanda Police responded to a report of a vehicle hitting a guardrail in a shopping plaza, they pulled over a car driven by a 72-year-old Tonawanda man.

When an officer asked the driver if he had been drinking, police said that the man responded, "Yes, a lot!"

Joel R. Palma was arrested at around 7 p.m. Wednesday on charges of driving while intoxicated and other offenses after an incident that police say began in the Hinds Street shopping plaza at Niagara and Hinds streets.

Police received a report about a car hitting a wooden guardrail in the plaza and then parking in front of a liquor store. When the officer arrived, the vehicle was exiting the plaza and was then pulled over on Broad Street.

After Palma was pulled over, police said they recorded his blood alcohol content at .24.

He was charged with DWI, operating a vehicle over .08 BAC, aggravated DWI (over .18 BAC), aggravated unlicensed operation and leaving the scene of an accident.

He was transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital due to his intoxicated state, police said, and he remained there after receiving his summonses.

Earlier Wednesday, City of Tonawanda Police arrested another forthcoming DWI suspect, one who told officers "my poor driving was from drinking" after his vehicle was forcibly stopped by police.

William R. August, 51, of North Tonawanda was charged with DWI Wednesday afternoon following an incident in which police had to "box in" his pickup truck after he did not yield to police lights and sirens.

Police received a cellphone report from a driver who described a black Chevrolet pickup truck that "was all over the road and almost hit a tree," police said. The pickup was eastbound on Niagara Street entering the City of Tonawanda when officers attempted to pull it over with their lights and sirens. Police said the pickup did not respond, and police forced the pickup to stop at Niagara and Kohler streets.

Police said August was slumped over in his vehicle, with an EMS check determining that he was "not suffering from a medical condition but was highly intoxicated," police said. August could not perform field tests due to his intoxicated condition, telling officers "my poor driving was from drinking." He was arrested at 3:30 p.m. and transported to Kenmore Mercy due to his high level of intoxication and for a blood test, police said.

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