Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

July 11, 2013

Busy holiday times on the highways

Staff Reports
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — This past week’s mid-summer Fourth of July holiday kept highway officials busy in the region covering Garvin County.

Officials with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Troop F began to track statistics at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 3 and continued right through midnight Sunday, July 7.

During this time frame state troopers in the Troop F area investigated 18 vehicle collisions, which resulted in two people being admitted into hospitals.

Three of those collisions involved an intoxicated driver, reported OHP Captain Ronnie Hampton, commander of Troop F.

OHP Troop F covers Carter, Love, Garvin, Murray, Pontotoc, Johnston and Marshall counties in south-central Oklahoma.

Troopers patrolling made 18 custodial arrest and were involved in two vehicle pursuits.

A breakdown of the arrests included 10 for driving under the influence, one of which was involved in a pursuit.

There were also two felony drug charges coming from the arrests, one public intoxication, one attempt to elude an officer and four cases of driving without a license or suspended license.

Troop officials also conducted what ‘s called a “no refusal operation” during the holiday period.

“We only had one refusal and that person was too physically combative to transport to the hospital for a blood draw,” Hampton said.

When a person is arrested for investigation of driving under the influence the person is requested to submit to a chemical test. Many times the arrested person will refuse to provide either a breath or blood sample.

During “no refusal operations” the trooper will exercise their authority under the Fourth Amendment to provide a probable cause affidavit to a judge who upon making the determination that probable cause exists will issue a search warrant for the person blood sample.

“The no refusal operation allows the OHP to provide documentary evidence of intoxication to the prosecutor showing the toxicology level of a DUI suspect,” Hampton said.

“We have conducted similar operations for the past 18 months and in every case the person’s blood test results came back above the legal limit and they were convicted in court.”

Troopers also issued more than 150 citations for speeding and no seatbelts and assisted 35 motorists who experienced car problems.