DWI not found at sobriety checkpoint

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

From Staff Reports

CORNERSVILLE - Police conducted a sobriety checkpoint here recently with no arrest for driving while intoxicated, but police did issue citations and found some unexpected things and behavior.

"We detected some narcotics, but no evidence was found," Cornersville Police Sgt. David McVey said Monday morning when he added, "One man said you won't find anything in the car. We smoked it."

Also during the sobriety checkpoint on Saturday night and early Sunday morning, McVey said, "We recovered a couple of traffic signs that are apparently from Murfreesboro. We're waiting to see if that city wants to charge them with theft of property."

A stop sign was recovered as was a Higgins Avenue sign, he said.

"They just ripped off the signs and left the pole," the sergeant said.

The sobriety checkpoint was conducted in conjunction with the Governor's Highway Safety Office, he said.

"There were six citations issued," he said, listing: "one open container, two seat belt violations, two registration violations and one financial responsibility violation, meaning they had no proof of insurance."

McVey counted vehicles on the east side of Interstate 65, and therefore those in the vicinity of two topless bars on the south side of I-65. He reports that of a total of 166 cars that came through the checkpoint between 10:30 p.m. and 3 a.m., three of those detained seemed to be coming from the nightspots.

"We had 18 vehicles that were detained for further investigation," the sergeant said.

There were seven officers stopping vehicles. McVey counted the vehicles. Law enforcement officers came from the Marshall and Maury County Sheriff's departments and Eagleville police. They volunteered after an e-mail was sent to a coalition of law enforcement agencies.

A classified advertisement was published in the Marshall County Tribune to announce the checkpoint would be held.

"A lot of folks, when they read it in the paper, they will bypass it, and it will make our community safer," McVey said.

Operating the checkpoint under general orders, police had to have two avenues for motorists to use instead of driving through the checkpoint, he said, then citing a court ruling stating there must be another prospective violation suspected for police to follow a vehicle that took the alternate route.

"We had about 10 percent from out of state; 80 percent were from surrounding counties and the other 10 percent were Cornersville-area residents. Most were from Giles County - those who work late shifts in Lewisburg.

"We were set up near the Econo Lodge on the Giles County and Marshall County line," McVey said.