THP releases dash video of DUI checkpoint

THP releases dash video of DUI checkpoint (Image 1)

The Tennessee Highway Patrol released video of a DUI checkpoint stop that went viral on YouTube.

The stop happened July 3 on South Rutherford Boulevard in Murfreesboro as the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office and THP checked cars for impaired drivers.

Chris Kalbaugh, 21, recorded the DUI checkpoint as part of a planned operation for the Libertarian Party of Tennessee. He then uploaded the video to YouTube Friday.

Thursday, the video had more than 3.8 million views and 49,000 comments on Kalbaugh's YouTube channel.

The YouTube video was edited by Kalbaugh before he uploaded it to the web.

The THP version is unedited and shows the interaction Kalbaugh had outside of his car with Deputy A.J. Ross and THP trooper Matthew Pennington.

On the video the deputy tells Kalbaugh that him questioning why the deputy is asking him questions raised suspicion.

“Are you an attorney or something? Do you know what the law is?” the deputy can be heard asking.

Kalbaugh answers, “Yes sir.”

Deputy Ross asks, “Ok what is the law?”

Kalbaugh answers, “That I have to stop. You can ask me questions, but I have the freedom to go on my way.”

During the stop, Deputy Ross asked for Kalbaugh's permission to search his car. Kalbaugh says he will not consent to the search. A K-9 officer then brings a dog over to the car to smell for illegal substances.

On the video, the K-9 officer said the dog alerted to an illegal substance on the door handle. The deputies then search the car.

According to video, the deputy tells Kalbaugh they found some marijuana seeds, shake and beer tabs in the car.

Kalbaugh told the deputy that it is possible that the previous owner left those items in the car.

“I definitely don't do drugs or smoke marijuana or anything,” Kalbaugh is heard saying in the video. “I am not sure why the dog alerted on my car. I don't do drugs.”

Deputy Ross tells Kalbaugh the he is within his rights to pull him over.   

“It is a sobriety checkpoint,” Deputy said. “I've got to make sure you haven't been drinking. You won't answer that question. I am going to pull you over to the side and I have got that right.”

Kalbaugh tells Trooper Pennington during the stop that he is not meaning to be difficult.

“For the record, I am not trying to disrespect any officers or the department or anything,” Kalbaugh said.

Kalbaugh was not cited or charged with any crime in connection with the DUI checkpoint.

At the end of the stop, Deputy Ross points out his supervisor on the scene, a lieutenant, and offers to let Kalbaugh speak to the man.

Kalbaugh does not speak to the supervisor and leaves the scene.

As of Thursday, the MTSU student had not filed a formal complaint with the sheriff's office.

Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold has said he reviewed Deputy Ross' behavior and found no wrong doing.

“He didn't violate anybody's rights,” Sheriff Arnold said. “He did his job.”

At the DUI checkpoint, 250 vehicles passed through. Twenty vehicles were detained for further investigation, including Kalbaugh's.

Three vehicles were searched and 32 citations issued, including one DUI.

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