POST FALLS, Idaho — Santa Claus is making headlines in his off season in North Idaho after a recent sighting in Post Falls ended with a DUI arrest.
Court documents obtained Monday show Post Falls officers arrested a Washington man legally named Santa Claus after he was spotted driving the wrong way.
The charge was reduced on Friday to misdemeanor reckless driving when Claus appeared in court. He pleaded guilty and paid a $700 fine.
He was spotted by police on Thursday night driving the wrong direction on Syringa Avenue according to court records. An officer activated his lights and Claus pulled over near Polston Avenue and Albert Street.
“It should be noted that the vehicle was still in the wrong lane of travel,” wrote the officer who pulled over the 67-year-old Claus.
Claus told police he was not from the area and was unfamiliar with the streets, according to court records. Police said they could smell alcohol coming from the vehicle when they spoke to him.
Court records showed Claus admitted to having three or four beers at Moon Dollars Bistro in Post Falls.
Officers at the scene conducted a field evaluation of Claus and said he had difficulty maintaining his balance. He later agreed to submit a breath test. Court records show the two samples read .130 and .119.
Police arrested Santa Claus for DUI but noted he was “cooperative throughout.”