Deputies locked up a Denver man early Sunday morning for driving the wrong way down N.C. 16 while under the influence.
According to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Communications Center alerted the law enforcement agency about the driver, stating he was traveling against traffic in an area between N.C. 73 and N.C. 150.
Deputy James Little, stationed in the roadway’s median between the two highways, spotted Benjamin Michael Lineberger, 22, driving south in the northbound lanes around 1:30 a.m., an agency press release said.
Lineberger nearly struck Little’s patrol vehicle, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The officer activated his sirens and lights and pursued the suspect’s vehicle for about half a mile until Lineberger stopped near the intersection of N.C. 16 and St. James Church Road, the release said.
Because Little said he smelled alcohol on the driver’s breath, he asked Lineberger to exit the vehicle.
The man, who initially gave the deputy a false name, had injuries to his face, bleeding from his mouth and nose along with damage to his vehicle’s steering wheel and front end, the release said.
However, no other law enforcement agencies in surrounding counties could locate a recent wreck report involving Lineberger’s vehicle.
Little arrested the man, a resident of 8346 Unity Church Road, and charged him with one misdemeanor count each of DWI, driving while license revoked, giving false information to a police officer, failure to stop for a blue light or siren, careless and reckless driving, having an expired registration and driving the wrong way on a dual-lane highway.
Lineberger was placed behind bars under a $3,000 secured bond.
According to the North Carolina Department of Correction website, he maintains offenses in the county for driving and consuming alcohol underage, obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a schedule VI controlled substance.
His next court appearance is set for March 21.