Two-time Indy 500 winner Unser Jr arrested

Tom Marquis Monday, May 20 1126
Al Unser Jr Al Unser Jr Courtesy Fox 59, indianapolis

Speedway Indiana- 5/20/2019

Sad news to report from Indy!

Two-time Indy 500 Champion Al Unser Jr was arrested in the suburb of Indianapolis of Avon, Indiana!

According to Fox 59 in Indianapolis.. 

Avon police arrested two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser, Jr. on an OWI charge.

Unser was booked into the Hendricks County Jail at 3:21 a.m. on Monday.

Unser faced similar legal problems in the past. He made headlines in 2002 when he was arrested after an alcohol-fueled fight with his girlfriend. He also has previous drunk driving arrests in 2007 and 2011.

Unser has been very vocal about his struggles with alcohol. In fact, just a few weeks ago he spoke with Hope Academy students to share his story of addiction as a recovering alcoholic. He said drinking was a demon he faced, and he hopes others will learn from his mistakes.

That years-long challenge has gotten him into trouble with the law before. In 2002, he was arrested for domestic battery against his girlfriend at the time. She blamed his drinking for the incident when she reported it to police. He first denied knowing her, but later said she hit him first. The charges were later dropped the woman stopped cooperating with investigators, but Unser still decided he needed help.

"Nearly every poor choice I've made in my life occurred under the influence of alcohol," he read in a statement at the time

Bobby Unser after the arrest that he'd talked to his nephew about his drinking problem. "It’s been addressed, for sure. He knows about it, but not doing anything is the problem. In other words, knowing is one thing, doing something about it is another thing and he really needs to do something about it."

He found sobriety for a time, but was arrested in 2007 in Las Vegas for driving under the influence. He was arrested again in 2011 in New Mexico, accused of drag racing while drunk.

Al Jr., now 57 years old, won 34 races including two Indianapolis 500s during his time as a driver, and continues working in the racing industry.