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Checkpoint held on Labor Day
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State trooper Andrew Coppinger talks to a motorist Monday during a Labor Day sobriety checkpoint on Smithville Highway in Dibrell. Law enforcement officials checked 475 motorists from 12 to 2 p.m.

Have you been drinking today?

Do you have any drugs in the car?

Those were two of the questions officers were asking Monday as the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Warren County Sheriff’s Department and McMinnville Police Department held a multi-agency sobriety checkpoint on Labor Day.

There were 475 vehicles that went through the two-hour checkpoint which was set up on Smithville Highway in Dibrell at North Warren Fire Department.

“We’re trying to keep fatalities down,” said Highway Patrol Sgt. Kevin Ballew. “These checkpoints are a good way for us to have a visible presence to show people we’re out here and working to keep the roads safe.”

The checkpoint didn’t result in any DUI arrests.

Sgt. Ballew said officers did issue a few citations: one for simple possession, one for registration violation, one for driver’s license violation, seven warnings for registration, and one warning for seatbelt violation.

“We’re glad to see people out here doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” said Ballew.

Several motorists were heading into town with boats in tow after spending parts of Labor Day weekend on the water. Two motorists went through the checkpoint then returned with drinks for officers with afternoon temperatures approaching 90.

Sgt. Ballew said the pandemic did change the way officers conducted the checkpoint.

“Normally we like to get as close as we can to the driver to try and smell for alcohol,” said Ballew. “Now we’re having to keep our distance, but we’re still paying attention to the way they talk, if they’re slurring their words, and if their eyes look OK.”