Driver in a ditch

An officer responded to a vehicle in a ditch on a major road in Mount Pleasant. When the officers arrived on scene, the driver was out of their car speaking with several officers that had arrived on scene first. The officers on scene told the newly arrived officerst that they could smell alcohol on the driver’s body and there were several beer cans in and around the vehicle. His car had crossed the center line, went into oncoming traffic, entered a ditch and struck a power box. The force of striking the power box deployed the front airbags.

When the officer who had just arrived went to speak with the driver, he caught the strong smell of alcohol. The officer saw the man’s eyes were droopy and noticed his speech was slurred. The driver complained of having a broken thumb and pain in his leg. The officer asked if he should call EMS before they proceeded but the suspect declined medical treatment. The officer asked the driver what happened and he said a car coming from the other direction crossed the center line so he swerved to avoid hitting that vehicle. The report shared there was no sign of another vehicle being in the area at the time. The man told the police he’d had three to four Modelo 12-ounce beers that night at a nearby bar. The officers weren’t sure he ended up in a ditch because he dodged another car so they proceeded to conduct a sobriety test on the sidewalk and closed a lane of traffic.

The officers explained they’d run through a few tests to make sure it was safe for him to leave and the man agreed. The officer observed several indications the man had been drinking during the eye test and reminded him several times to continue to look at the stylus. The office observed clues of intoxication on the first pass of the stylus and confirmed them on the second pass.

The man watched an officer perform the walk and turn test and confirmed he understood all the instructions. The report said he was unable to stay in the starting positions, took 10 steps up the line, did an improper turn, missed heel to toe and stepped out on step five down the line. The officer demonstrated the one leg stand test and asked the man if he understood the instructions. The man told the officer he couldn’t complete the test due to pain in his leg from the collision.

When asked his highest level of education he said 10-11th grade and confirmed he knew the English alphabet. He was instructed to recite, not sing the alphabet starting with the letter D as in dog and go to R as in rabbit. The officer demonstrated the task and the driver began by saying “D-E-F-G-H-F.” Then he told the officers he had a learning disability and would be unable to perform it like he was told. The officer offered the man to recite the alphabet from A to Z. He attempted but was unable to perform it successfully.

The officer asked if zero was stone cold sober and 10 was the drunkest he’d ever been, where the suspect believed he was. The man said five. The police placed the man under arrest for driving under the influence and placed him in handcuffs. When they searched the suspect they found a pocket knife, several drill bits and a pack of cigarettes. The officers placed the items in his vehicle for safe keeping. He was then placed in the back of an officer’s car.

The officers then found an unfinished, cold Modelo beer can in the truck as they searched the vehicle. It was removed and placed into evidence. The man’s vehicle was towed and he was taken to the police station for an opportunity to provide a breath sample. The man refused to provide a breath sample so the officers issued a driving suspension. The report said the man complained several times of the pain from the collision. But when officers asked if he would like EMS to come he declined. The man was transported to a hospital for jail clearance. Due to the amount of X-rays that needed to be taken, another officer arrived to relieve the officer on duty. The new officer transported the man to the detention center where he was given a bond hearing and municipal court date. The man was charged with a DUI 1st offense and open container.

Highway hitchhiker

Officers arrived on scene to address reports of a man walking and hitchhiking in the middle of Highway 17 in the middle of the afternoon. One of the officers had already passed the man on his way to a call and told him to get out of the roadway to which he complied although argumentative. The officer went back to meet another officer talking to the suspect. The suspect was argumentative again when the officers asked what he was doing after already advising him to get out of the roadway.

The man said he was trying to get a ride. The officers explained this was not only against the law, but it was very unsafe for him to walk in the middle of a highway. The man started slurring his words as he spoke and the officers noticed he smelled like alcohol. He told the officers he’d had two 25-ounce beers over the past few hours. They placed him into handcuffs, put him in the back of the officer’s car and took him to jail. The report said that the entire way there, he cursed and made vulgar statements to the officer. Once they arrived at the jail, the suspect began to kick the backseat of the patrol vehicle. The man proceeded to curse and make vulgar statements to the jail staff. He was charged with drunkenness in public and hitchhiking. He was lodged at the detention center and given a court date. The report stated the suspect’s information was checked and it showed a warrant out of Tennessee but it was not criminal.

The Police Blotter is intended to be an informative and humorous column written from police reports obtained from the Mt. Pleasant Police Dept. Many of the stories come from initial incident reports and, occasionally, supplemental reports. Generally, cases have not been adjudicated at the time of publication.