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Video shows suspected drunk driver doing the splits for sobriety test

Michael Axelson begins to perform the splits during a roadside stop with police on Sept. 19, 2019, in Sterling Heights, Mich.
Michael Axelson begins to perform the splits during a roadside stop with police on Sept. 19, 2019, in Sterling Heights, Mich. Sterling Heights Police Department

A man with several drunk-driving convictions may have failed a roadside sobriety test in Sterling Heights, Mich., last month, but he scored a perfect 10 with the gymnastics move he did for police.

Dashcam footage released by police shows Michael Axelson, 53, doing the splits instead of taking a field sobriety test for the two arresting officers early on Thursday, Sept. 19. The odd moment occurred during Axelson’s eighth drunk-driving-related incident, the Detroit Free Press reports.

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The video shows police pulling Axelson over in his white van and bringing him out to stand in front of the police car for the sobriety tests.

Axelson slurs his words and occasionally speaks incoherently in the video, which is captured from the police car’s perspective.

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“You think you’re in any condition to do some field sobriety tests for me real quick?” one officer asks.

“If you want me to, I will,” Axelson said.

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The officer instructs Axelson to stand on one foot to demonstrate his balance.

“Do you have any issues with your legs?” the officer says. “Any injuries, anything like that?”

“I don’t think so,” the man says, before adding: “I can go like this.”

He abruptly drops to do the splits in front of the police vehicle, just out of sight of the camera.

“OK,” the officer says. “That’s very impressive. Stand up for me, OK?”

It takes him a few seconds to get up again.

Michael Axelson begins to perform the splits during a roadside stop with police on Sept. 19, 2019, in Sterling Heights, Mich.
Michael Axelson begins to perform the splits during a roadside stop with police on Sept. 19, 2019, in Sterling Heights, Mich. Sterling Heights Police Department

The man then says several incoherent things while police question him about his alcohol consumption.

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“Are you saying I’m drunk right now?” he asks one of the officers.

“Yes, I am,” the officer says.

“I’m not going to dispute that,” the man replies. “But I can do a lot of things. I’m a strong man.”

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Police made several attempts to administer a breathalyzer test, and the man ultimately tested at more than twice the legal limit, WDIV-TV reports.

Axelson has been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and driving with a suspended licence.

He has been released on a $5,000 bond.

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