Surgoinsville man found drunk at high school pleads guilty to public intoxication

Jeff Bobo • Apr 23, 2013 at 1:22 AM

CHURCH HILL — A Surgoinsville man pleaded guilty Friday in Hawkins County Sessions Court to one count of public intoxication following his arrest Thursday at the Volunteer High School parking lot during a soccer game.

Darrell Wayne Rowland, 41, 2880 Main St., No. 3, Surgoinsville, was originally charged Thursday evening with public intoxication, possession of alcohol on school property and possession of an open alcohol container.

The latter two charges were dismissed Friday.

Shortly before 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Church Hill Police Department Officer Chip Whitaker was dispatched to the Volunteer High School parking lot on a complaint of a man slumped over in the driver’s seat of a vehicle in the school parking lot. A VHS soccer game was reportedly under way at the time of the complaint.

“Upon exiting my patrol car, I observed Darrell Wayne Rowland slumped over and drooling about the mouth,” Whitaker said. “As I looked in the vehicle, I observed an open 24 ounce Busch beer in the cup holder, along with a 24 ounce Natural Ice in the floor board. The vehicle smelled of alcohol. I then woke the defendant up, and observed him to be obviously intoxicated.”

Whitaker said Rowland had slurred speech, blood shot eyes and was somewhat disoriented.

More than 20 Clonazepan pills were found in Rowland’s pants pocket, but Whitaker determined they were obtained through legal prescription.

Rowland was released from the Hawkins County jail on Friday afternoon following his court appearance.

He was ordered to pay $76.50 in court costs and fines.

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