An expired tag and an inability to keep it between the lines led to a Georgia man being arrested on drug charges Jan. 8.

Vonore Police Det. Cory Fritts said he was on Highway 411 when he saw a white utility van with a registration sticker that had expired in January of 2020. Fritts said he followed the van for a short distance and saw it cross into the emergency lane five times in half a mile.

Fritts stopped the van and found the driver to be Ralph Michael Whitacre. Fritts told him what he’d stopped him for and Whitacre said he’d swerved on the road because he’d been messing with his dog.

Fritts said while he was talking to Whitacre, he had erratic movements and slurred speech and Fritts suspected he was under the influence of something.

Fritts asked if he could search Whitacre and his truck and Whitacre said he could. While searching Whitacre, Fritts said he found three bags of suspected meth in his right pocket.

Fritts said Whitacre then told him he had another small bag of meth in the van, along with syringes to use the drug.

Fritts said he searched the truck and found the other Baggie and 15 syringes.

Fritts said he then called a state trooper to come in and perform advanced field sobriety tests and Whitacre performed poorly on all of them.

Whitacre, 44, Hyden Tyler Road, Chatsworth, Georgia, was charged with possession of meth for resale, possession of drug paraphernalia and DUI.

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