NWGA Scanner | January 15th, 2022

Dalton man arrested for DUI after hitting parked vehicle and leaving the scene

According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, on December 25th, 2021, an officer responded to the area of Lesley Drive and Jennifer Court in reference to a vehicle crash. The caller reported that he crashed into a vehicle parked on the side of the road near the 400 block of Lesley Drive. The officer arrived and observed the caller standing next to a red 2014 Nissan Altima. The officer noticed that there was significant damage on the front right (passenger) bumper and fender of the Altima. A red 2013 Hyundai Elantra with significant damage to its front right (passenger) bumper and fender. According to the report, “The officer also observed that there was a significant amount of fluid that had dumped to the ground from both motor vehicles. I noticed that there was a rather large trail of fluid that went eastbound on Lesley Dr towards the 500 Block and 600 Block. The officer spoke with the caller, who claimed he was the driver. According to the report, “Due to certain details not making sense and the man acting strange and more nervous than a normal person would have in a similar situation, the officer continued to ask him further questions of the exact series of events. After more questioning, the officer was able to determine that he was lying and that his brother, Gerardo Hijar-Romero, 28, of Dalton, was the actual driver. The 19-years-old advised the officer that he did not have anything to drink at the park but that Gerardo did. According to the report, “He stated that Gerardo had “a few” drinks at the party.” The officer reported, “The Hillcrest was a good distance away from the area of impact, and most sober drivers would have had enough time to react to the parked vehicle. [I] also found it suspicious that whoever was driving the vehicle decided to go home and then come back. The 19-year-old hesitated when [I] asked him several different questions. These were questions that the driver of the vehicle should have been able to answer easily. He also acted very nervously, more so than most people would have in a similar situation.” When confronted, the caller confessed and advised that Gerardo was the driver. He stated that Gerardo, who had a few alcoholic beverages at the party and was a “little tipsy”, was the driver of the red Altima. He stated that while driving home, Gerardo struck the red Elantra. He stated that Gerardo then became nervous, drove the Altima to their home on Lesley Dr, and asked him to drive the Altima back down and cover for him since he was drunk driving. According to the report, “While speaking to Gerardo, the officer could smell the distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person. Gerardo stated that he had three beers and two shots around 1:30 AM, while at the party. Gerardo stated that he became very nervous because he knew he was too intoxicated to drive.” During field sobriety tests, Gerardo showed several signs of alcohol impairment and showed a BrAC of 0.092 on a PBT. The officer asked Gerardo if he was a United States citizen. He stated that he did not think so due to being apart of DACA. Gerardo was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, charged with DUI alcohol and leaving the scene-collision with parked vehicle.