A Johnston County state trooper rescued a puppy from a convicted habitual impaired driver during a traffic stop.
Around 1:00am Saturday, Trooper C.O. Best was on routine patrol on Highway 70 westbound near W.C. Braswell Road. Trooper Best said he observed a van stopped perpendicular on W.C. Braswell Road blocking both lanes. Before the state trooper could turn around and get back to the intersection the van had left. Trooper Best caught up with the van a short distance away on Highway 70 and observed that it didn’t have a license plate.
During a traffic stop, the driver identified as 37 year-old Robert Andrew Scharff of Oriental, NC, was arrested on suspicious of driving while impaired. Scharff who was reportedly driving from Winston Salem to Oriental, refused to submit to any roadside sobriety tests. He was taken into custody at the scene.
Before Trooper Best left the scene with the driver, he spotted a puppy named “Luie” in the back of the van. Leaving the puppy in the unattended van was not an option. He contacted Johnston County Animal Services and then had a second state trooper to take Luie to the animal shelter until another family member could arrive the next day and take custody of him.
Scharff was taken to the hospital where a blood sample was taken. He was then transported to the Johnston County Jail and held under a $100,000 bond on charges of driving while impaired, driving on a revoked license due to impairment revocation, and failure to register a vehicle with DMV. Troopers also seized the van.
According to the NC Department of Public Safety website, Scharff has 4 prior convictions for driving while impaired and two convictions for habitual impaired driving. He was released from prison in 2016 after serving active time for the last conviction, according to the website.