Witnesses tell us they saw Lynch parked at the scene around 5:45 AM -- roughly two hours before his arrest -- and claim at one point, the running back exited his car to sit on the curb with the driver-side door wide open.
We're told Lynch remained at the scene until cops arrived ... who ultimately determined he was impaired and arrested him for driving under the influence.
We're told Lynch left a trail of damage on the road until his car reached its resting point ... with visible marks on the pavement and curbs. As we previously reported, sources say Lynch was driving into roadside curbs prior to the arrest.
Lynch was taken to jail and booked for DUI -- he's also facing charges of failure/refusing to surrender proof of security, unregistered vehicle and failure to drive in a travel lane.