Johnson City man arrested after accident and charged with DUI, marijuana

By Abby Morris
Star Staff

   A 25-year-old Johnson City man was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with multiple offenses, including DUI, after a single vehicle accident after the car he was driving caused property damage.
   Brian L. Shields, 1969 Powder Branch Road, Johnson City, was arrested and charged with violation of the implied consent law, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, simple possession of Schedule VI narcotics (marijuana) and violation of the financial responsibility law, in addition to the DUI charge.
   According to a report by Elizabethton Police Department PTL Michael Merritt, the accident occurred just minutes before 2 p.m. Tuesday on South Watauga Avenue. Merritt reported that when he arrived on scene, he found a green Acura Integra on East K Street at the intersection of that road with South Watauga Avenue, and Shields was found with the vehicle.
   "Shields stated he was the operator of the vehicle when it left the roadway and struck a sidewalk/embankment on South Watauga Avenue and then traveled approximately 300 feet before turning left onto East K Street," the report by Merritt states. "Shields' vehicle was traveling north on South Watauga Avenue and left the left side of the roadway striking a utility pole and a set of steps and then re-entered the roadway and left the scene of the crash leaving a trail of fluid on the roadway."
   Witnesses at the scene were able to speak with law enforcement officers and tell them what they had seen. "Witnesses stated Shields had gone around the side of a residence and then returned," Merritt states in a report. "Constable (Bobby) Canter checked the area and returned with a metal tray which contained one back of JOB 1.5 rolling papers and one and a half marijuana cigarettes."
   According to the report, Shields told officers that the tin and marijuana were his but that he had not been smoking marijuana at the time of the accident. Merritt reported that Shields' eyes were red and bloodshot and his speech was slurred.
   At that point in time, the report states, Shields was asked to submit to a series of field sobriety tests. Merritt states in his report that Shields performed poorly on the two field sobriety tests that were administered and was placed into custody on the charge of DUI. After he was arrested, Shields refused to submit to a chemical test and was therefore charged with violation of the implied consent law.
   EPD Sgt. Roger Crowe conducted an inventory of Shields' vehicle prior to having it towed from the scene and discovered a partially smoked marijuana cigarette inside the ashtray, the report states.
   Shields is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on May 27.