published Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Chattanooga: Woman given suspended sentence for underage drinking

A 19-year-old woman was given a suspended one-year sentence today for drinking underage after an East Ridge bench clerk allegedly told the police officer who arrested her to let the woman go.

Jacqueline White, of 708 Haven Hill Drive in East Ridge, admitted in Hamilton County General Sessions Court that she had a few sips of Tilt, an alcoholic beverage, before East Ridge officer Matt Talley arrested her on March 31 in a convenience store parking lot on Ringgold Road.

Officer Talley testified today that he was told by East Ridge Bench Clerk Mary Lou Whaley not to arrest Ms. White. Ms. White testified she and Ms. Whaley were good friends.

“I was not drunk,” Ms. White said. “She knows I wouldn’t do something like that. (The officer) just treated me really unfairly from the time I pulled up.”

East Ridge City Clerk Jo Ann Thomas said today that she did not know anything about the incident. East Ridge City Judge Arvin Reingold could not be reached for comment.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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