ECD officers make key stops protecting motorists

By Ryan Harding / ADOT Communications

Truck inspection at POE

In the tradition of the late Johnny Carson’s act “The Great Carnac,” if I held the envelope to my head and simply said “the numbers six and 200,” what do you think it would mean? 

Well, if I opened the envelope, it would say “the protection of motorists on Arizona’s highways.” Not exactly a knee-slapper as traffic safety is no laughing matter, but allow me to explain:

On May 31, an ADOT sergeant was able to locate a commercial vehicle that was having trouble staying in the lanes along I-10 about 5 miles east of San Simon. The vehicle had been reported over the radio by DPS. After pulling the commercial vehicle over, the officer noted the smell of alcohol in the cab and conducted a field sobriety test on the driver. He then administered a preliminary breath test and found the driver had a blood-alcohol content of .245, which is a whopping six times the legal limit. .04 is the legal limit for commercial drivers.

The sergeant made an arrest and helped pull a severely intoxicated driver operating an 80,000-pound vehicle off the road helping keep travelers safe.

About two weeks later on June 6, an ADOT officer made a traffic stop on a commercial vehicle for bypassing the Topock Port of Entry on I-40 near the California state line. The officer escorted the truck back to the port of entry for a commercial vehicle inspection.

The inspection revealed some red flags including conflicting information on the driver’s travels. Officer Farrington became suspicious and asked if there were any drugs or alcohol on board. The driver denied having any such items but granted consent for the officer to conduct a search.

The officer found three large boxes that contained packaged bricks of what turned out to be cocaine. The total amount of cocaine found was nearly 200 pounds - an estimated street value of $4.5 million. The officer arrested the driver and notified the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team, who took over the investigation. His instincts helped get illicit drugs off the street.

We’re thankful for our Enforcement and Compliance Division officers making these, and many other, key traffic stops in addition to their primary duties of enforcing commercial vehicle regulations to help keep motorists safe. And that’s no punch line.