In Two Unrelated DUIs, Police Find Drivers Asleep at the Wheel

In one, police found a man passed out in his Jeep in a 7 Eleven parking lot. In another, the driver fell asleep in the middle of the traffic stop.

Newport Police arrested two area men in two unrelated drunk driving incidents Thursday night and early Friday morning and falling asleep at the wheel factored in each. 

Newport Police charged a 26-year-old Middletown man with driving under the influence, second offense, on Thursday night after he was found passed out in the driver’s seat of his Jeep in the 7 Eleven parking lot on Memorial Boulevard with the engine running and stereo blasting.

Police said Kurt A. Stovall, 26, of 516 Third Beach Road, was found asleep at the wheel just before midnight. The car was locked and in park.

Police tried to wake him up by banging on the window, but Stovall reportedly wouldn’t budge and firefighters had be called to finally get inside the Jeep.

A review of store surveillance footage showed Stovall pulled into the parking lot at around 11:35 and didn’t get out for the 25 minutes until police arrived.

Stovall was finally woken up with smelling salts, police said, and he showed signs of intoxication.

Stovall told police that he had a few beers, but not a lot, according to a police report, and failed a field sobriety test.

He was held overnight and faced arraignment on Friday for refusing a chemical test and the DUI charge.

About an hour-and-a-half later, on Friday at 1:23 a.m., Newport Police charged 22-year-old Henry A Lopez Melgar, 22, of 106 Lawrence Ave., Middletown, with driving under the influence after he was stopped for weaving in and out of his lane on Broadway and driving through a stop sign on Summer Street.

Police said Lopez seemed confused and smelled like alcohol when the officer asked for his license and registration.

The officer returned to her cruiser to check his information, and when she returned, Lopez reportedly had fallen asleep.

“I stood at the drivers’ side for several minutes tapping on the window before Lopez opened his eyes and rolled down the window,” a police report stated.

Police said Lopez told them he had five to six beers and refused a field sobriety test, though he allegedly was stumbling and acting intoxicated.

He was held overnight until arraignment on Friday.


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