When a Utah Highway Patrol trooper first saw the Mantua police chief, he was driving down the center median of a Cache County highway in a police cruiser at than 80 mph. The trooper was concerned because the car didn’t have its lights and sirens on.
The trooper made a U-turn and pulled Shane Zilles over.
After a short conversation, the trooper said, “Shane, I’ll be honest. You’re really worrying me with how you’re acting right now. Are you on any meds?"
The redacted dash cam video, released Thursday by the Department of Public Safety, begins when the trooper spots Zilles, and it continues through his eventual arrest after failing field sobriety tests. Zilles was charged Feb. 8 with class B misdemeanor counts of DUI and reckless driving.
Zilles’ attorney Shannon Demler didn’t immediately respond to The Salt Lake Tribune’s request for comment Thursday evening.
Early on in his conversation with the trooper, Zilles says he’s on his way to work, according to the police report.
“If you’re headed to the office,” the trooper can be heard saying in the video, “you’re going the wrong way.”
According to the trooper’s report, Zilles explained that he had already gone to work that day.
The video later shifts to Zilles performing field sobriety tests. The trooper apparently has a hard time administering the gaze test because Zilles’ eyes are barely open.
During the walk and turn test, Zilles’ loses his balance and stumbles to the side as he’s being given instructions and appeared to have difficulty staying balanced as he walked, taking more steps than the trooper instructed.
When troopers performed a blood alcohol breath test on Zilles, it detected no alcohol.
After that test, the video shows the trooper tell Zilles he believes he’s on some kind of medication. He asks Zilles to tell him what he’s taken.
“Ah, jeez,” Zilles begins, before the video goes silent. It remains silent for nearly 1 minute as he talks.
The trooper asks Zilles a few more questions, like when he last took his medication and what day it is. Zilles says he took the medication a couple of hours ago. He told troopers it was Sunday or Monday, but it was Tuesday.
“Well, I hate to do this. This is an awkward position for me, too,” a trooper says. “I don’t think you’re safe to be driving, and unfortunately I don’t have much of a choice. We’re going to put you under arrest.”
Zilles groans, later saying, “I can’t believe it.”
After his arrest, Mantua Mayor Michael Johnson announced Zilles had been fired.
“We also hope that Mr. Zilles can work his way through this tough time and find a better path in the future,” Johnson said in the statement. “It appears that prescription meds have claimed another good person’s reputation.”