The incident began just after midnight Oct. 14 when officers responding to calls found a vehicle in the ditch in the area of Bayly Street and Lake Ridge Road, Durham police said. The driver, who was unhurt, was arrested for impaired driving.
A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a loaded handgun, police said.
The incident was one of 15 during the Thanksgiving weekend in which Durham police laid impaired driving charges.
Garnett McLarty Mathieu, 27, of Ajax faces charges including driving while impaired by alcohol and drugs, driving with cannabis in open baggage and several firearms offences.