Lawmen issue citations at Currituck checkpoint
By Chris Day
Sunday, August 12, 2018
COINJOCK — Police issued more than 30 citations at a multi-agency DWI checkpoint just south of here Friday night.
The Currituck County Sheriff’s Office hosted the checkpoint, which was set up by the rest area on U.S. Highway 158 a few miles south of Coinjock. Eight other area law enforcement agencies participated in the checkpoint, said Lt. Terence Sutton, of the Currituck Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s the biggest we’ve had in a while,” Sutton said, shortly after midnight Saturday when the checkpoint was shut down. “It’s been years since we’ve had one this big.”
According to Sutton, the following charges were handed down at the checkpoint:
— four for driving without a license;
— 11 for expired licensed plates;
— seven for unspecified drug charges (however, in at least one vehicle a small amount of marijuana was discovered);
— eight for operating a vehicle without a license;
— one for open container;
— one vehicle inspection violation;
— two for driving while under the influence; and
— one for seat belt violation.
The N.C. Highway Patrol also issued three warnings, while the K9, provided by the Dare County Sheriff’s Office, was deployed six times.
The checkpoint stopped motorists traveling both north and south. Motorists traveling south were asked to pull over into the parking lot of the rest area if police wanted to ask them additional questions.
Motorists traveling north who were suspected of violations were told to pull over to the shoulder of the road.
In one instance, police discovered an open 12 pack of beer, which a state Trooper disposed of by pouring it out in the grass. In another instance, a car with out-of-state plates carrying three young people, was stopped. They were asked to get out of the vehicle, while police searched inside the vehicle, as well as the contents of the trunk. It wasn’t clear if any of the occupants were among those charged.
Sutton said the Currituck Sheriff’s Office has been a longtime participant in the governor’s Highway Safety Program. The checkpoint was held to raise awareness of highway safety and to try to curb the number of crashes and accident-related highway fatalities.
The checkpoint began at 8 p.m. Friday and shut down shortly after midnight Saturday. Participating in the checkpoint alongside Currituck’s personnel were officers from the Elizabeth City Police Department, deputies from the Camden and Dare county sheriff’s offices, and officers from the Town of Duck, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Southern Shores and the Highway Patrol.
Also lending assistance was the Breath Alcohol Testing Mobile Unit, or “BAT” Mobile. The RV-sized vehicle is equipped with an office for the county magistrate and several breath alcohol testing machines. The BAT Mobile, which was one of several the state maintains, falls under the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.