By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
A long holiday weekend usually brings celebrations of various types and this year’s Memorial Day weekend was no exception.
But those persons who celebrated by driving under the influence were targeted this year as an attempt to keep Kentucky’s roadways safer for all motorists utilizing the state and county roads.
In Laurel County, three were arrested by Laurel County Sheriff’s officials on Sunday — all charged with driving under the influence.
The report of a male subject operating a black Chevrolet Cavalier on Ravenwood Circle, two miles west of London, on Sunday night around 7:30, sent Deputy Larry Parrott to the area where he placed 18-year-old Michael Stidham of Cassidy Road in London under arrest. Stidham is charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence, no insurance, no seat belt, possession of drug paraphernalia and other traffic violations. Stidham admitted to smoking marijuana prior to being stopped.
Just prior to that arrest, Parrott went to Cloud Subdivision on Pine Top Road, five miles west of London, to answer a complaint of an extremely intoxicated man riding his Yamaha Rhino through the subdivision.
When Parrott arrived, he found 48-year-old Tony Bruner of Pine Top Road and determined Bruner was indeed intoxicated. Bruner allegedly admitted to having been drinking heavily all day. Bruner was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence and operating an ATV on the roadway.
The first of the three arrests Parrott made on Sunday involved the arrest of an intoxicated driver around 2 p.m. on North Florence Street near Byrley Road, 10 miles south of London. In that incident, officers were conducting a safety checkpoint. A silver Chevrolet pickup was one of those checked and the driver — 39-year-old Kenneth Gibson of Barker Road in Lily —was determined to be driving under the influence. Gibson reportedly admitted to taking hydrocodone earlier that day, and had more of the pills on his person, some of which belonged to another person.
Gibson was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence, no insurance, no seat belt, prescription drugs not in proper container, first offense, and other traffic violations.
All three were lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center following their arrests.
Assisting in the traffic safety checkpoint was Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter and Deputy Mike Ashhurst.