Man picks up DUI charge after driving to hospital to pick up girlfriend

Published 5:59 pm Monday, August 28, 2017

A Carter County man faces a criminal charge after police say he drove to a local hospital to pick up his girlfriend while impaired.

Officers of the Elizabethton Police Department arrested Cody Banner, 26, 123 Reeser Road, No. 15, Johnson City, and charged with second offense driving under the influence.

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According to court documents, officers responded to the Emergency Room at Sycamore Shoals Hospital in reference to an intoxicated woman at the facility. When EPD Cpl. Matt Taylor arrived at the hospital security officers told him a patient identified as Melissa Street was intoxicated and attempting to leave. Taylor said he then spoke with the woman.

“Street had clearly been consuming alcohol, however, did not appear to be a danger to herself or others,” Taylor said.

Hospital staff told the officer they would call for a cab to take Street home.

“While waiting on the cab, I observed a silver sedan pull into a parking space near the ER,” Taylor said. “Street stated ‘There is my boyfriend.’”

When Taylor spoke with the driver of the car, later identified as Banner, he noted he smelled the odor of alcohol coming from Banner’s person.

“Before I mentioned the odor, Banner stated ‘I know I shouldn’t be driving. I’m drunk,” Taylor said. “Banner stated several times that he was too intoxicated to be driving.”

Taylor asked Banner to complete a series of field sobriety tests but said Banner stopped during the test. “He stated he knew he was intoxicated and did not think the tests were necessary,” Taylor said.

Officers placed Taylor under arrest and transported him to the Carter County Detention Center. Banner was later released from jail after posting a $1,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Carter County General Sessions Court on Oct. 24.