Man charged with DUI, drug possession — An Easton man is facing drug and drunken driving charges after police caught him speeding down a street with small amounts of cocaine on his person, police said.Officer Shane Pucci was on a routine patrol Monday evening when he pulled over a vehicle for traveling unreasonably fast down Bayberry Lane.Upon approaching the vehicle, Pucci reported a strong odor of alcohol emanating from the vehicle. While speaking with the driver, Pucci glimpsed a long brown paper bag containing an alcoholic beverage, police said.Mark Bartolone, 50, was administered a sobriety test, which he failed.A search of Bartolone’s vehicle later revealed .04 grams of cocaine and several containers of alcohol.Bartolone was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, operating while under suspension, traveling unreasonably fast and possession of narcotics. He posted a $500 bond, and is expected in court on May 3.
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Driver in DUI crash allegedly admits to gang affiliation, using drugsJ — An alleged Kingsport gang member who wrecked early Wednesday morning near Church Hill with a sawed off shotgun and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle is facing several charges including possession of a gun by a convicted felon and DUI.When asked by HCSO Sgt. Michael Allen if he was on any illegal drugs, the driver, Matthew Scott Quillen, reportedly replied, “All of them.”When inmates are booked into jail they are routinely asked if they belong to a gang.Quillen, 26, 991 Kinsler Ave., Kingsport, reportedly told Hawkins County jailers Wednesday he is a member of the “20mob Traveling Vice.”Quillen’s passenger, Latosha N. Fletcher, 28, 306 Charlie St., Church Hill, was also allegedly under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. While she was being helped out of the vehicle by police, a marijuana pipe allegedly fell out of her front hoodie pocket.At about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, Deputy Bobby Moffitt and Allen responded to a single-vehicle crash in the 200 block of Goshen Valley Road. A 1995 Chevy Lumina had exited the roadway near the Smith Hollow Road intersection.Quillen had been driving and reportedly blew his horn at deputies when they arrived to get their attention.”He advised they were just bruised up and that he wasn’t driving fast when he wrecked,” Allen stated in his report.While Quillen and Fletcher were being checked out by EMS, Allen reportedly observed that both appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.Quillen spoke with slurred speech, and he stated he knew he was going to jail because his license was suspended and he didn’t have insurance.”I asked if he was on any illegal drugs, and his reply was, ‘All of them’,” Allen stated.After Quillen and Fletcher had been arrested, a search of the vehicle was conducted.An open red duffel bag in the vehicle contained a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun with a barrel that had been shortened below the legal length, as well as several 12-gauge shotgun shells and a CO2 pistol designed to look like a .357 revolver.Near the driver’s seat, a Xanax pill was found inside a tin container along with several small clear plastic baggies, rolling papers and a pill snorter.A computer check of Quillen showed him to have previous convictions for aggravated burglary and robbery.Quillen was charged with possession of a gun by a convicted felon, reckless endangerment, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of Schedule IV narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a prohibited weapon, DUI, driving on a suspended license, no insurance, and violation of the Due Care law.As of Thursday he remained held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond pending arraignment set for May 1.Fletcher was charged with public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia. She too remained held in the Hawkins County Jail as of Thursday, and her arraignment is set for May 1 as well.
Iguana takes the wheel for man charged with DUI: Forget Toonces the driving cat — here’s Finley the driving iguana.Heads were turning in Clearwater, Florida, Thursday when they saw a car apparently being driven by the 3-foot-long lizard, his claws clenched around the wheel.Two plainclothes cops say they were among those doing double-takes, and they followed the car for a couple of miles until it pulled over.They then found Finley’s owner slouched down in the seat. He was arrested for drunken driving and taken to jail. Finley was taken to an animal shelter.
Police: Nashua school bus driver arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana before taking students on Mass. field trip: Police in Chelmsford, Mass., arrested a school bus driver from Nashua on Tuesday morning after high school students getting on the bus complained about a strange odor on board.The smell, according to police, turned out to be marijuana.The bus driver, 63-year-old Ali Mahfuz of Nashua, was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of marijuana, driving negligently as to endanger and reckless endangerment, according to a news release.School administrators called Chelmsford Police Tuesday morning after several high school students told a teacher that there was a strange odor on a bus they had boarded in order to go on a field trip, police said.”The teacher immediately notified the principal who boarded the bus with other administrators and could clearly smell the odor of marijuana,” police said. “The students were taken off the bus and brought to the cafeteria.”Officers arrived and determined Mahfuz was under the influence of marijuana.”An investigation also determined that while Mahfuz had not driven any of the morning bus routes at the Chelmsford Public Schools on Tuesday, he had just finished a route for Greater Lowell Technical High School before arriving at Chelmsford High School,” according to authorities. “Chelmsford Police have reached out to the Tyngsborough (Mass.) Police Department, where that school is located.”The bus company, North Reading Transportation Inc., is cooperating with the school department and the Chelmsford Police Department on the investigation.The company sent a supervisor to the scene and a new bus driver took the students on the field trip.Chelmsford Police Chief James Spinney praised the high school students for speaking up.”I cannot overstate the role played by the students today in ensuring their safety on the roads,” Spinney said. “They knew something was not right, and they spoke up right away, alerting school administrators. I commend these students for their role in stopping a dangerous situation from unfolding.”
Man seen driving through front yards charged with DUI: Theodore J. Kocen, 72, of the 200 block of West Park Avenue, Libertyville, was charged April 19 with driving under the influence of alcohol and improper backing. According to police reports, dispatchers at 9:10 p.m. received complaints of a vehicle driving on the front yards of homes along South Dymond Road and that it had backed into at least one car. Police say they located the car at Burridge Court at Dymond Road and the driver, identified as Kocen, failed a field sobriety test. Kocen is scheduled in court May 12.
Study finds more drivers killed under influence of drugs than alcohol: A recently released report finds driving under the influence of drugs has become even more of a problem than driving under the influence of alcohol.Tests were conducted on people who died as a result of a car crash and the results may surprise you. The Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibly say 43 percent of drivers with known test results who died behind the wheel, tested positive for drugs. This, compared to 38 percent who tested positive for alcohol.The reports goes on to give possible theories as to why drugged driving is on the rise. It claims some drivers may not know how drugs affect their driving. Others may not believe drugs impair how they drive.Of the drivers who tested positive for drugs, more than a third had marijuana in their system. According to the report, marijuana can increase the risk of crashing by 22 to 36 percent. It goes on to say police may have a harder time identifying those drugged drivers.CBS46 learned of a proposal to severely lessen the punishment for possessing small amounts of marijuana in Atlanta is essentially going back to the drawing board. Council members voted to send the proposal back to the public safety committee after they couldn’t agree in a measure.As the law stands now, having an ounce or less of marijuana can land you in jail for up to six months and cost you up to $1,000 in fines. The proposal would take jail time off the table and instead fine someone in possession just $75.