In the last week, two separate instances of seat switching couldn’t save three people from drunken driving charges and trips to jail.
Sherman Police Sgt. Brett Mullen said shortly before 11:30 p.m. Monday dispatchers received a call of a possible intoxicated driver traveling through the 3900 block of Northbound U.S. Highway 75. The caller remained on the line with dispatchers and safely followed the vehicle for a distance, before the male driver exited the freeway, parked in the 500 block of East Street and switched seats with a female passenger. The Sherman sergeant said officers arrived shortly after the couple switched positions and initiated a traffic stop.
“Through the investigation, officers determined that the two subjects had, in fact, switched seats and there were two children, ages one and three being driven in the vehicle in the back seat,” Mullen said.
The male driver was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated third or more offense. Reading from the department’s incident report, Mullen said the female passenger was found not to be intoxicated and was released at the scene with the children.
“There no excuse for driving while intoxicated and there’s certainly no excuse for driving intoxicated when you have a child in the car,” Mullen said.
And over the weekend, Mullen said two Dallas men were also arrested after attempting to pull a similar stunt.
Shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday, Mullen said a concerned motorist called 9-1-1 after observing an erratic driver on Archer Street. After following the vehicle and relaying information to dispatchers, Mullen said the caller watched the men park and swap spots near the intersection of Archer and Houston, but officers located and stopped the pair soon after.
“They did admit to officers that they did switch seats,” Mullen said. “There was one open beer and several empty beer cans inside the vehicle.”
Both men were ultimately charged for driving while intoxicated with an open container.
Mullen urged drivers to never drink before getting behind the wheel and commended the callers who alerted authorities.
“Find a sober party to drive you, ” Mullen said. “And we encourage people to call us, report crimes and let us know what’s happening. We can’t be everywhere at once, but if you can provide us with information that can be a great help.”
Drew Smith is the crime and emergency reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.