A man accused in a hit-and-run accident was arrested Nov. 1 after he was allegedly found unconscious in his vehicle at an Acoma Boulevard location, with his keys still in his vehicle’s ignition.

Lake Havasu City Police officers were called to an Acoma Boulevard residence that afternoon, where witnesses allegedly reported a white Chevrolet striking an unoccupied vehicle at the location. Officers soon found a vehicle matching the description allegedly given by witnesses, parked in a dirt parking lot nearby. The driver, identified as 35-year-old James D. Sanpaolo, appeared to be “passed out” in his driver’s seat, the report said.

Officers woke Sanpaolo, and smelled the odor of alcohol emanating from within his vehicle, the report said. Sanpaolo allegedly denied drinking alcohol prior to driving, but police say he appeared to be visibly intoxicated at the scene. Officers allegedly observed damage to the front bumper of Sanpaolo’s vehicle, but Sanpaolo allegedly told officers he had been parked at the location “for a while.”

Police say Sanpaolo initially refused to participate in field sobriety testing, but soon changed his mind. Officers say Sanpaolo had difficulty maintaining his balance, and was unable to complete the tests. He was arrested at the scene on charges of DUI and leaving the scene of a vehicle accident.

Sanpaolo allegedly refused to a test of his breath, and police obtained a warrant for a sample of his blood to determine his level of intoxication. The result of such testing was not known as of Friday afternoon.


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