Officers arrest wrong-way drunk teen driver near San Miguel

March 22, 2024


CHP officers arrested a Paso Robles teen who was allegedly intoxicated while driving the wrong way on Highway 101 near San Miguel early Friday morning.

At approximately 2:37 a.m., 911 callers began reporting a wrong-way driver traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 101 north of Paso Robles. One witness was traveling southbound on the highway observing the wrong-way driver and updating law enforcement about the suspect’s vehicle, according to the CHP.

Templeton CHP officers came out to the area and found the suspect’s vehicle heading southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 101 north of Stockdale Road. Officers tried to use lights, siren and patrol vehicle placement to gain the driver’s attention. But, the driver did not respond to the measures. 

As the driver continued heading southbound in the northbound lanes, CHP officers used a patrol vehicle to force the car to a stop. The intervention managed to stop the wrong-way driver. Officers then detained both the driver and his passenger.

Officers arrested the driver, identified as a 19-year-old Manuel Francisco Ortiz of Paso Robles, for driving under the influence of alcohol. Authorities booked Ortiz in SLO County Jail on charges of DUI, driving without a license and driving the wrong way on a divided highway. 

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies provided assistance to CHP officers during the incident. 


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I’m sure we will hear from the camp that will not want to see Manuel Francisco Ortiz prosecuted for these crimes, they will say the event itself traumatized him, and the stigma of a court conviction will hurt his chances of supporting his family, etc., etc., etc.

Thanks to the great work of law enforcement, Manuel Francisco Ortiz will not be prosecuted for manslaughter, but i hope the other charges carry a long enough sentence to teach him a lesson about drunk driving.

Letting these guys off easy = more DUI deaths of innocent civilians.

I’m sure we will hear……” No, just you.

Sad but will probably get the charges reduced to “failure to yield” because he was to drunk to read.

This “wrong way driver” seems to be happening alot lately. Do these people not speak/read English? I can’t remember any on-ramps that aren’t clearly marked. Does anyone in north county know any on-ramps that need more signage? The DUI is flagrantly illegal.

So a Hispanic surname suggests he couldn’t read English? Sounds like some real peak Boomer Energy there. Regardless, the Do No Enter signs in red are enough for anyone, regardless, assuming they aren’t drunk. We also see a lot of elderly doing this due to confusion.

Most don’t realize either that the lane dots/bumps show red when driving in the wrong direction.

Yet the state does not make drivers aware of this. Perhaps an ad campaign that states; if you see red you may end up dead. The passenger may have been coherent enough to remember it.

Or add to the digital road signs. They can change up that Buzzed driving is drunk driving motto….obviously that message was a miss for this guy.