McMinnville Police Department’s saturation patrol over Memorial Day weekend netted four people driving under the influence.
“We don’t have all the numbers in but I have a pretty good estimate,” said McMinnville Police Department Lt. Mark Mara on Tuesday. “Our Labor Day weekend didn’t end until midnight Monday night. All in all, it was a really good weekend. We are somewhat disappointed because we always hope for no DUI arrests and no DUI-related accidents. We didn’t get that this weekend.”
Of the four arrested for driving under the influence, one resulted in property damage. The incident occurred in Westwood on Friday night when a car driven by Robbie Andrews Bates crashed into a home. The driver admitted to consuming a large amount of liquor and beer. Occupants of the home were unhurt.
“The four arrests were a combination of the saturation patrol and the regular patrol,” said Mara. “I don’t know how many, if any, arrests the Warren County Sheriff’s Department made or the Tennessee Highway Patrol.”
One of the arrests came after a blood search warrant was served.
“In one of the DUIs, the person actually refused to provide blood so we had to call the district attorney’s DUI prosecutor out and he was able to help us get a search warrant for the blood,” said Mara. “We also called in a drug recognition expert on two of the cases.”
The state allows for the forced taking of blood in suspected drunk driving cases if a search warrant is obtained. During its saturation patrols, the city’s police department always has the county’s DUI prosecutor on standby for such instances. Drug recognitions experts are police officers trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol.
The department made approximately 35 traffic stops and wrote approximately 25 tickets. Mara says some of those tickets went to individuals who did not have their children property restrained.
“Of those tickets, we had some child restraint tickets issued,” he said. “Those were mostly on Friday night because of graduation. There was one that was turned in and the child was 2 years old. They didn’t even have a child restraint device in the vehicle. To me, that’s worse than not having a child properly seat-belted or restrained.”
Along with regular patrols, the department had 14 additional officers working the saturation patrol throughout the weekend.