John Bowlen was arrested Sunday on two misdemeanor drunken driving charges after he was pulled over for passing cars on the median of a California highway at more than 100 mph, officials say.

"He wasn't cooperative. He did make it clear several times that he was the son of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen. It didn't help. We arrested him just like any other citizen. He got no preferential treatment," said Sgt. Tim Neumann, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.

Bowlen, 31, was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail late Sunday afternoon on one misdemeanor charge of being under the influence of a drug or alcohol and one count of having a reading of more than the California limit of 0.08 percent of alcohol in his blood.

Bowlen's "reckless driving" triggered numerous calls from drivers on U.S. 101 near Paso Robles on Sunday. Five CHP troopers joined the chase.

The first calls came by motorists on northbound 101 at 1:27 p.m. in San Luis Obispo County.


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  • John Bowlen

    San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department

    John Bowlen

  • John Bowlen, bottom left, walks out of court, August 14, 2015. Bowlen was in Arapahoe County Court a pretrial conference in a domestic violence case.

    RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    John Bowlen, bottom left, walks out of court, August 14, 2015. Bowlen was in Arapahoe County Court a pretrial conference in a domestic violence case.

  • John Bowlen, left, son of Denver Broncos team owner Pat Bowlen, walks into court, August 14, 2015.

    RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    John Bowlen, left, son of Denver Broncos team owner Pat Bowlen, walks into court, August 14, 2015.

  • John Bowlen in 2015

    Photo courtesy of the Arapahoe County Jail

    John Bowlen in 2015

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Callers said a man driving a gray Jeep Cherokee was weaving in and out of traffic going more than 100 mph. When all lanes of the highway were blocked by cars going the speed limit, the driver passed by swerving onto the median or the right shoulder of the highway.

"We had multiple units looking for him," Neuman said. It was very dangerous because other drivers don't know how to react to someone driving so recklessly, he said.

A steady number of 911 calls were made for more than 20 miles. When the driver approached Paso Robles, the calls increased.

After the Jeep passed a patrol car, the officer pulled the speeding driver over. The trooper noticed an open container of alcohol in the SUV. The man who lives near Redondo Beach kept telling officers "who his dad was."

"He made that very clear multiple times," Neuman said. "He kept saying this is who I am."

Bowlen refused to have his blood taken. He was arrested at 2:17 p.m. and taken to the San Luis Obispo County Jail.

"He wasn't very cooperative," Neumann said.

When asked what his occupation was, "he refused to divulge that information to the officers," the jail clerk said.

CHP officials called a judge, who signed a warrant to take Bowlen's blood, Neumann said.

Neumann said Bowlen had a cocker spaniel puppy in the SUV. Neuman overheard Bowlen talking while he was led down a hall.

"He was saying that he tried to talk dad out of selling the team," Neumann said. "Who knows what that means."

The patrol spokesperson took care of the puppy named Duke for a few hours until animal control officers picked it up.

Bond was set at $5,000, according to jail records. Drunken driving suspects are held for at least four hours or as long as it takes to sober up, according to county records.

Bowlen bonded out of jail on Monday, officials said.

Bowlen's arrest was first reported by TMZ.

In June 2015, Bowlen was arrested in a domestic violence incident in which authorities say Bowlen pushed his girlfriend against a bathroom wall. He was also charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor for allegedly hanging up the phone when the woman tried to call 911.

At the time, Bowlen invoked his Broncos connection in an apparent attempt to persuade them not to arrest him.

Bowlen’s girlfriend told investigators he was under the influence of “whippets” — nitrous oxide — and alcohol at the time of the encounter. In the 911 call, she screamed and hung up. The dispatcher called back and Bowlen answered.

“She has had seven beers,” Bowlen had told the dispatcher. “She is 95 pounds, and she is being picked up by another male who she works out with. She is fine, and she is trying to cause a problem. As the blood of the city, I’m telling you right now, nothing is wrong.”

Bowlen was convicted in April 2016 and appealed his conviction to the Colorado Supreme Court saying that the officer who arrested him did not properly fill out a summons.

The Colorado Supreme Court refused to review the appeal.