In Stamford, Connecticut, a sobriety checkpoint that was set up around Hope Street and Toms Road alerted the police to a notable rise in marijuana usage in the area.
The checkpoint, which was active from 11 pm to 3 am, resulted in a few minor charges being doled out to unsuspecting drivers who were caught on the wrong side of the law.
By the time the Stamford police had left the area, three tickets for minor offences such as driving without a seatbelt and three infractions for marijuana possession had been issued.
35-Year-Old Man Slapped with Marijuana Possession Charge
The most notable case of the night was that of a 35-year-old man who drove up to the checkpoint around forty-five minutes past midnight.
Derrick Bartlett, as the man was later identified as, was apparently under the influence of marijuana at the time he arrived at the checkpoint.
Police say that the man had the characteristically pungent odor of marijuana which, upon closer investigation, was found inside a pill bottle on the vehicle’s center console.
It was the .22 caliber Beretta handgun, however, that immediately caught the officers’ attention.
Bartlett later revealed a gun permit for the firearm but was still charged with the reckless storage of a firearm, which was supposed to be secured on his person.
Bartlett was ultimately charged with marijuana possession, drug paraphernalia, breach of peace, and the negligent storage of a firearm.
He was permitted to go home after documenting and agreeing that he would make a court appearance.
Another Man Slapped With a DUI Charge
Come early Saturday morning, Christian Mogollon-Perez was in the sights of local law enforcement in Glenbrook after he allegedly forced a local firefighter off the road while driving under the influence.
The 36-year-old was apparently inebriated, and was temporarily arrested by the firefighter near Courtland Avenue until police arrived to take him into custody.
He was later released on bond.
Various Charges Issued at Late Night Checkpoint
Stamford police issued a statement in which they explained how driving under the influence of marijuana is similar to driving under the influence of alcohol.
Drivers caught with the former offence are still taken through the usual field sobriety tests in order to determine their ability to drive home safely.
The immediate penalties are also similar, seeing that drivers that are found to be unable to drive due to marijuana are arrested.
Laws Governing Marijuana Usage Loosening
In the wake of the marijuana legalization campaign, it is evident that the drug is becoming more popular than before.
However, as was the case in Stamford, police in areas where recreational marijuana usage is still illegal show no signs of slacking when it comes to apprehending those under the influence.
Officers at the Stamford checkpoint have since advised moderation for anyone looking to drive home after drinking or, alternatively, making use of public transportation or entrusting the task of driving to a sober companion to prevent road carnage in future.