Man found asleep behind the wheel

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Statesville man was found asleep, vodka bottle in hand, with his truck running on the side of Third Creek Church Road in Cleveland around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Authorities say the man was unresponsive and had to be taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center for a blood alcohol test.
According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, a volunteer firefighter called the office Tuesday afternoon to let deputies know of a vehicle on the side of the road, running, with two people asleep inside.
When deputies arrived, they saw two men in the truck, asleep, with the driver of the truck, 40-year-old Steven Ray Dalton, of Statesville, behind the wheel with an open bottle of vodka in his hand.
The deputy was able to take pictures of Dalton asleep behind the wheel without waking him up, which will be used as evidence, authorities reported.
“Certainly that’s good evidence,” Capt. John Sifford said.
Two open bottles of alcohol were also seized as evidence, and the truck was towed.
Dalton was taken to Rowan Regional, and then to the magistrate’s office where he was charged with driving while impaired, driving while license revoked, driving while consuming alcohol and possession of an open container. He was given a $1,500 secured bond.
The Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating the possibility of a new charge — habitual driving while impaired.
There was no information available about the other person in the truck.