Motorists using Sparta Highway on Friday morning were temporarily halted in their commute by approximately 30 officers and their vehicles lining both sides of travel.
A sobriety checkpoint was conducted between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. and stationed just before The Landing in Van Buren County.
“It was a huge sobriety checkpoint,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Billy Prater. “Van Buren County Sheriff Eddie Carter called and asked for our assistance. He asked for our assistance, so we gave it. There are approximately 30 officers or more here today.”
The sight wasn’t enough to sober up one driver.
“We had a total of 655 cars come through the checkpoint,” said Highway Patrol Sgt. Ronnie Simmons. “We made one DUI arrest, gave one citation for drug paraphernalia, and various citations for other violations such as seatbelt and child restraint device.”
While the name of the individual charged with driving under the influence was not readily available, Simmons said the intoxicant was drugs, not alcohol.
“We are seeing more and more people driving under the influence of drugs and the one Friday morning was drug-related,” said Simmons. “We schedule these checkpoints every month in Van Buren or White counties, the two counties I oversee.”
The Highway Patrol recognizes sobriety checkpoints are highly visible and effective tools in the battle against impaired driving.