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Sobriety Checkpoint Nets Three Motorists On DUI Charges

During a sobriety checkpoint held on South Main Street on the night of Friday, July 19, and early morning hours of Saturday, July 20, police charged three motorists with driving under the influence, according to Newtown Police Sergeant John Cole.

Police set up the eight-hour checkpoint on the section of South Main Street just south of its intersection with Borough Lane, using a large commercial parking lot there as a location for investigations. Police estimate that about 550 drivers passed through the checkpoint.

All motorists driving in both directions on the road were stopped and briefly interviewed by police to determine whether they were driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Police said that at about 8:47 pm on July 19, they stopped a northbound vehicle driven by George Sankoorikal, 69, of Brookfield. Following a brief investigation, police said they charged Sankoorikal with driving under the influence.

After processing, Sankoorikal was released on $100 bail for an August 2 arraignment on the charge in Danbury Superior Court.

At 10:56 pm on July 19, police stopped a southbound vehicle driven by Donald W. Temmen, 43, of 140 Huntingtown Road. Police said they investigated and then charged Temmen with driving under the influence.

After processing the case, police released Temmen on $60 bail for an August 1 court appearance.

Also, at about 11:27 pm on July 19, police report they stopped southbound motorist Thomas H. Montague, 33, of 105 South Main Street.

After investigating, police charged Montague with driving under the influence and with failure to display a front marker plate. After posting $100 bail, he was released for an August 1 court appearance.

Later during the checkpoint, at 1:16 am on July 20, police arrested motorist Gregory Devine, 23, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on a charge of interfering with police. Police said that Devine interfered with them as they were investigating a matter involving a passenger in the vehicle which Devine was driving.

Devine was released on a written promise to appear in court on August 1.

Police said they issued 25 motor vehicle warnings to motorists for various vehicular violations that they found during the checkpoint.

Police have been conducting such checkpoints for many years in seeking to keep intoxicated motorists off local roadways. The checkpoints are intended to serve as a deterrent to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on the roadways through high-visibility DUI enforcement.

Nine police manned the checkpoint. A state highway safety program grant will reimburse the town for 75 percent of the police overtime costs stemming from the checkpoint.

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