NWGA Scanner | May 13th, 2022
According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, On April 25th, 2022, at 10:30 PM, Officer Walker was patrolling the area of Rowena Street. Officer Walker reported, “As [I] drove through the area, [I] could smell the very strong and distinct odor of suspected marijuana being smoked in the 300 Blk of Rowena Street. [I] observed several people run into a house on Rowena Street. When [I] approached ML King Jr Blvd from Water Street, [I] could see a white Dodge pickup truck traveling east on ML King Jr Blvd. [I] could see that the truck did not have headlights on. Due to the time of night (10:30 hours), [I] followed the vehicle to initiate a traffic stop. The vehicle activated the left-hand turning signal when it entered the left-hand turning lane. [I] then got behind the vehicle in the left turning lane. The vehicle then quickly changes its lane and starts driving east on ML King Jr Blvd in the left-hand lane. The vehicle did not use a turn signal when it changed lanes and continued to drive with the headlights off. As the vehicle continued to travel east, [I] observed that the vehicle was crossing the center yellow double lines in the roadway. The vehicle was driving on the double yellow lines for several seconds before re-establishing itself in the correct lane.” The officer then initiates a traffic stop on the vehicle. Once the officer activated his lights, he observed an object get thrown out the passenger window. It appeared to be a bottle/can of liquid as he could see liquid splatter as it hit the ground. The Dodge Ram with Arizona tag sat at the red light before turning onto Grimes Street from the left lane and stopped in the middle of the street. The officer made contact with the driver, later identified as Jelisa Griffin Burse, 31, of Dalton, and the passenger, later identified as Deaondrell Bowie, and explained the reason for the traffic stop. The officer could immediately smell the strong odor of suspected marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. Officer Walker reported, “As [I] spoke with Jelisa, [I] noticed that she was slurring her speech and her eyes were red and droopy. [I] asked both occupants about the odor of suspected marijuana coming from inside of the vehicle. Both occupants advised that no marijuana was inside of the vehicle and claimed not to smell the odor. [I] asked both occupants about what was thrown from the vehicle, and both denied any item being thrown.” More the officer spoke with Jelisa, the more he believed he was under the influence and impaired. Officer Jones and officer Johnson had arrived on the scene during this time to assist. Jelisa nearly fell while stepping out of the vehicle and stumbled while walking. After being asked again about the odor, she admitted that people were smoking, but she stated she had not smoked any marijuana. During the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, Jelisa showed several signs of being impaired by marijuana. During the other field sobriety tests she showed several signs of impairment. During a search of the vehicle officers did locate marijuana. Jelisa was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, charged with DUI drugs, no headlights, improper lane change, and failure to maintain lane.