Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. was arrested early Thursday morning on charges of drunken driving and reckless driving in New Mexico after authorities said he was driving more than 100 mph, officials at the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department said.
Around 3 a.m. , officials say Unser, 49, was in his white 2011 Chevrolet Suburban and racing another car going westbound on Paseo del Norte in Albuquerque. Deputies say they clocked both vehicles on radar going over 100 miles per hour.
He was charged with reckless driving and aggravated driving while intoxicated. Unser was released from jail on his own recognizance. It was unclear if he had an attorney. No one answered a phone call to a number listed under his name.
Unser Jr. has had problems with alcohol for years, as chronicled by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was, even at the height of his racing career, an alcoholic.
This is Unser’s third known arrest since 2002. Unser Jr. was arrested in Nevada in January of 2007 for nearly identical drunk driving offenses, and was also arrested in Indiana in 2002 after a domestic dispute with his girlfriend turned physical.
In a statement, IndyCar, sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series, said it was aware of the charges. Unser was working with IndyCar as a driving coach and a race control official.
“Al Unser Jr. has been suspended indefinitely and relieved of his duties in Race Control, pending further investigation,” IndyCar said in a statement.