NWGA Scanner | March 21st, 2022

Dalton man arrested for DUI child endangerment after being observed by detectives drinking and driving in Whitfield County

According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, On March 7th, 2022, at 8:53 PM, Deputy Findley was made aware by Detectives Lt Rann that he and Sgt Spurlock observed a Hispanic male, later to be identified as Joel R. Ramirez-Martinez, 36, of Dalton, get out of a black Ford F150 with black wheels at the Pilot on Carbondale Road and “chug” an entire can of White Claw. According to the report, “Sgt Spurlock then observed Joel reach back into the truck and grab an additional can and throw them both in a trash can. Sgt Spurlock stated he then looked inside the trash can and verified the can that Joel drank was in fact, a White Claw, and the other can was also an alcoholic beverage. Sgt Spurlock then stated he observed Joel walk with a small juvenile inside the store, then later come back and get inside the F150, then exit the parking lot driving down Carbondale Road toward I-75. Sgt Spurlock advised that there was a pedestrian walking through the parking lot and the F150 almost struck the male walking.” Deputy Findley observed the F150 and attempted to observe the driving. The F150 quickly turned into the Circle K on Cedar Ridge Road. Deputy Findley then got out with the F150 and advised dispatch. The deputy made contact with Joel, and observed that the juvenile was sitting in the front passenger seat without a safety belt on. While deputy Findley spoke with Joel at the rear of the vehicle, Lt. Rann spoke with the juvenile to keep her calm. During Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test Joel showed several signs of impairment. According to the report, “Deputy Findley then asked Joel if he would be willing to do the walk and turn and one-leg stand. However, Joel refused and started asking questions as to why we were doing this. By this time, Deputy Fernandez had responded to the scene as well, and Sgt Spurlock came over to explain to Joel what he had observed at the pilot. Joel then was slowly becoming more uncooperative and would not answer questions. Joel at one point did admit to drinking but would never admit to what he drank or how much.” Joel was then placed under arrest for DUI and transported to the Whitfield County Jail, where he showed a breath alcohol content (BAC) of .160. Joel was charged with DUI- Alcohol, DUI- Endangering Child, and safety belt (age 9-17).