A drunk driver has been given 50 days behind bars for nearly slamming head-on into a police cruiser on Sparta Highway.
The defendant, Kenneth Patrick Smith, 39, of Doyle entered guilty pleas before Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley to charges of reckless endangerment and second-offense DUI. He was ordered to serve 50 days of an 11-month, 29-day sentence and must perform 40 hours public service work, pay $850 plus costs and lose his driver license for two years.
He is charged after he had a near miss with McMinnville police officer Joseph Vanbommel near River Park Hospital. The officer said Smith was traveling east in the westbound lane, meaning he was on the wrong side of the road.
“I had to swerve to avoid making contact with the Dodge Ram,” the officer recalled. “And I nearly hit another oncoming vehicle.”
The policeman turned on his blue lights and tried to stop the suspect. However, the driver kept evading the officer, leading him down Sparta Highway. While able to temporarily evade the lawman, Vanbommel was able to get his tag number and a good look at his face. A search of his record revealed Smith’s license was revoked for a prior DUI out of Sequatchie County in 2013.