FAIRBANKS — A 63-year-old man attempting to drive a motorized shopping cart into the parking lot of a Fairbanks grocery store was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol on Wednesday night.
Merrill Keith Moses, of Fairbanks, also was charged with refusal to submit to a chemical breath and shoplifting.
A Fred Meyer West employee called police at 9:45 p.m. to report that an intoxicated Moses was attempting to drive the cart into traffic in the parking lot. The employee was worried that Moses would be hit by a vehicle, police said.
“When an officer arrived, a store employee was holding onto the handlebars of the cart to keep the suspect from driving any further,” said Sgt. Bruce Barnette at the Fairbanks Police Department.
One Fred Meyer employee told police that Moses driving drunk on the cart is an ongoing problem in the store and Moses has tried to run store employees over in the past when they have attempted to stop him on the cart. Every time they confront him, Moses is highly intoxicated, the employee told police.
It did not appear that Moses is disabled or handicapped, police said.
Moses was unable to perform field sobriety tests because of his high level of intoxication and couldn’t stand without assistance, police said. A preliminary breath test measured his breath-alcohol content at 0.310, almost four times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Moses later refused to provide an official breath sample at police headquarters.
When he was stopped, Moses had a box of Betty Crocker’s cake mix and a box of chocolate chip cookies in the basket of the cart. The store employees said he had not paid for them.
Moses did not have any money to pay for the food and was subsequently charged with third-degree theft.
Moses has a lengthy criminal history, including a 2011 DUI conviction in Delta Junction. He also has numerous convictions for domestic assault, drinking in public, open container, criminal trespass and theft.
Merrill was arraigned Thursday, and a preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 5.
Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.