Drunk man crashes into mobile lab during DWI checkpoint, police say

Published: Dec. 5, 2011 at 6:10 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2012 at 6:10 PM EST
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NEWTON, NC (WBTV) - A Hickory man is facing charges after police say he crashed into mobile breathalyzer unit while driving drunk over the weekend.

According to police, officers were conducting a DWI checkpoint along U.S. Highway 321 Business on Sunday morning. The crash occurred shortly before 3 a.m. as officers were closing down the DWI checkpoint.

Newton Police told WBTV that 21-year-old Douglas Southard, of Hickory, was driving along the highway and plowed into the rear of a parked mobile testing lab, the B.A.T. mobile, which is built into a bus.

The RV-sized lab reportedly had a magistrate, several officers and two suspects caught by the DWI checkpoint inside when the accident occurred.

The accident reportedly caused approximately $4,000 in damage to Southard's vehicle and $10,000 to the B.A.T. mobile.

Southard was taken by ambulance to Catawba Valley Medical Center after he was reportedly drifting in and out of consciousness at the scene. He was last listed in stable condition.

Southard has been charged with DWI, Reckless and Careless Driving, Driving with Revoked License, No Insurance, No Inspection, Invalid Plate and Failure to slow down to avoid accident.