Parents arrested on intoxication charges while attempting to pick up child from school

Published 9:40 pm Friday, April 28, 2017

A Carter County man and woman face charges after police say they went to pick their child up from school while under the influence of an intoxicant.

Deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jamie Wright, 43, and Tara Wright, 41, both of 1000 Idlewylde Circle, Johnson City, on Thursday morning. Deputies charged Jamie Wright with driving under the influence and third offense driving on a suspended license. Deputies charged Tara Wright with public intoxication.

According to police reports, the charges against the couple stem from an incident that happened Thursday morning at Happy Valley Middle School. Deputy Brian Smithpeters said HVMS Principal Jon Minton informed him he had to call a parent to come to the school to pick up their child and both Jamie Wright and Tara Wright arrived that the school in responded to that call.

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“Mr. Minton stated it appeared to him that both parents were under the influence,” Smithpeters said. “I then arrived at the school and made contact with both subjects. Mr. Wright had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech. Mrs. Wright had constricted pupils, watery eyes, and was unsteady on her feet.”

Smithpeters said he asked Jamie Wright and Tara Wright if they had taken any medication and both admitted they had taken prescription medication.

“I then asked who was driving and Mrs. Wright stated she drove the vehicle to the school,” Smithpeters said. “I then gave Mrs. Wright a series of field sobriety tests at which time she performed poorly.”

“Deputy (Tracie) Pierson and Lt. (Keith) Range reviewed the security video footage from the front of the school,” Smithpeters added. “Deputy Pierson and Lt. Range stated the video footage shows Mr. Wright exiting the driver’s side of the vehicle and Mrs. Wright exiting the passenger’s side.”

When asked again who drove to the school, Smithpeters said Jamie Wright admitted to driving the car. Jamie Wright also performed poorly on field sobriety tests, Smithpeters said.

Deputies arrested both Jamie Wright and Tara Wright and transported both of them to the Carter County Detention Center. The pair was later released after posting bond.

They are scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on June 13.