Police stopped an “extremely impaired” South Burlington man driving north in the southbound lane of Interstate 89 on New Year’s Eve. The driver, 37-year-old Matthew Corbitt, nearly hit the officer head-on, as well as passing several other on-coming passenger cars and commercial vehicles, according to a recent police report.
The event occurred near Exit 7 in the southbound lane of I-89. Investigating officer Victor Hinojosa reports that officers from the Vermont State Police, the Northfield Police Department, and the Montpelier Police Department assisted in the incident.
From the report, “On Dec. 31, 2020, a DUI enforcement officer from the Berlin Police Department was heading southbound on I-89 (Berlin) in the southbound lane, when a wrong-way driver came toward the officer head-on, headed northbound in the southbound lane. The officer was able to avoid a head-on collision and turned around at the nearest U-turn. The officer followed the wrong-way driver, who was still headed northbound in the southbound lane near Exit 7 in Berlin. The wrong-way driver passed multiple passenger cars and commercial motor vehicles before being stopped by the officer.”
Corbitt, who was driving with a criminally suspended license, refused field sobriety tests. Nevertheless, he showed signs of serious alcohol impairment. He was arrested, and processed at the Berlin Police Department. Police charged Corbitt with gross negligent operation and driving with a suspended license.
After the police consulted with the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office, Corbitt was released with a citation to appear in Washington County Court, Criminal Division, on Jan. 14 to answer to the charges.
“Thankfully, no members of the public were injured during this incident. The officer was able to go home to his family uninjured. We are dedicated to the safety of our community and are grateful this incident did not have a more serious or deadly outcome,” the release states.