A registered nurse faces a driving while impaired charge after a Friday traffic stop.
Beverly Suzanne Hightower, 42, of 1746 Waterford Way in Morganton, was charged with driving while impaired, possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless driving to endanger and expired vehicle inspection, according to an arrest report from the Morganton Department of Public Safety.
Hightower was pulled over after an officer observed her cross the center line of Burkemont Avenue multiple times, and swerve into another lane, the report said.
When officers approached the car, Hightower would not roll down her window. Instead, she made a phone call, the report said.
The officer asked Hightower to roll her window down. Still, Hightower continued speaking on the phone and tried to fix her blouse, but kept trying to stick her head through the arm holes of the shirt, the report said.
When the officer knocked on the window again, Hightower told the person she was speaking to on the phone, “Burke County’s got me,” the report said. The third time the officer knocked on the window, Hightower rolled it down.
The officer could smell alcohol on Hightower’s breath, the report said. A box for an eight-pack of beer was in the backseat of Hightower’s car, but it only had three beers in it.
Hightower initially denied having anything to drink, but later admitted to having a beer and “maybe a shot” about an hour or two before the stop, the report said.
Hightower asked police if she could get her clothes on, and when asked how they got displaced to begin with, she said it was because of a boyfriend, the report said. She then went on to make another phone call even after officers told her to hang up, also telling that person, “Burke County’s got me.”
Officers asked Hightower if she would cooperate and she agreed. She refused field sobriety tests, but officers still placed her under arrest for DWI and transported her to Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge-Morganton for a blood test, which she complied with, the report said.
Before taking Hightower to CHS Blue Ridge-Morganton, a search of her purse turned up three used syringes and two tourniquets, the report said. An empty beer bottle also was found in the front passenger floorboard.
While at the hospital, Hightower thought she was at Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility, the report said. Hightower also told officers that she thought all cops are “crooked,” and told a male officer that her 18-year-old son could “beat him up.”
She went on to tell officers that she would never pray for them. She changed her mind and later said she might pray for them, but that they didn’t want her prayers, the report said. She also told a female officer multiple times that she didn’t like her, and cursed at her.
At the magistrate’s office, Hightower received a custody release, but she still was uncooperative. Her father arrived on scene and told her to be quiet and, “quit acting like a (expletive) baby,” several times, the report said. Instead, Hightower stomped her feet and yelled at him.
Hightower told police she is a travelling nurse. According to the N.C. Board of Nursing, Hightower has an active license that is set to expire Aug. 31, 2020, with no charges or disciplinary history.
Hightower’s next court date is set for June 26, according to the arrest report.