NWGA Scanner | April 11th, 2022

Dalton man arrested for DUI after being stopped by Tunnel Hill police chief for failure to maintain lane

According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, On April 4th, 2022, at 3:13 AM, A sergeant with the drug unit was walking out of Andy’s Corner convenience store located at 104 Cottonwood Mill Road when he noticed a Hispanic male walking into the store as he was exiting. According to the report, “The deputy detected the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from the male as he walked by. Another detective radioed to see if a marked patrol unit was in the area. Tunnel Hill Police Department Chief Rider was in the area and responded to their location.” The male, later identified as Hector Alonso Ruelas-Soto, 28, of Dalton, got into the driver’s seat of a red Chevrolet pick-up truck. As the driver exited the parking lot onto Cottonwood Mill Road, a lieutenant, also a detective, was sitting across the street and observed the truck make a wide turn into the opposite lane of travel. The vehicle continued westbound onto Cottonwood Mill Road, where it was stopped by Chief Rider. Deputy Pack arrived on the scene of the traffic stop and assisted. According to the report, “Chief Rider informed Deputy Pack that the male driver appeared to be under the influence. He asked Deputy Pack if he would evaluate the driver based on his training as a Drug Recognition Expert. Deputy Pack began speaking with Hector. Deputy Pack noticed that Hector’s eyes were glassy, and he could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person. He also noticed that his eyelids were droopy, and it was as if he was having difficulties keeping his eyes open. Hector informed Deputy Pack he had consumed a Miller High Life beer while he was playing the “ding ding” machines at Andy’s Corner. While speaking with Hector, Deputy Pack noticed his speech seemed slurred and his speech rate was slow.” During standardized field sobriety testing, Hector showed several signs of alcohol impairment and showed a BAC of .089 on Tunnel Hill Police Officer Haven’s PBT. According to the report, “Based on Hector’s manifestations of impairment, the manner in which the deputies observed him operating the vehicle, and the field sobriety examinations, Deputy Pack placed him under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. Hector then refused to submit to the state’s implied consent. Hector was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, charged with DUI, failure to maintain lane, suspend registration, and DUI.