NWGA Scanner | September 12th, 2022
According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, On September 5th, 2022, Officer Miller and Officer Morang, a two man unit was sitting stationary at North Thornton Avenue and West Hawthorne Street when they observed a 2015 Subaru Outback drive past with a completely flat right front tire. Officer Miller then conducted a traffic stop and attempted to make contact with the driver, later identified as Maria Isabel Pimentel, 45, of Dalton. During the stop, Maria ran a red light and quickly pulled into a parking spot. Officer Miller reported, “As [I] was getting out of my patrol car to make contact with Maria, she herself exited her vehicle. [I] identified myself as a police officer and told Maria of the reason for the traffic stop, which was [I] witnessed her driving down South Thornton Avenue with a completely flat tire. Maria admitted knowing that her tire was flat and that she was just trying to make it home instead of having to have her car towed. [I] asked Maria for her license, and she had trouble locating her license. Maria seemed very nervous to me and kept trying to turn to face away from me while we spoke. Maria walked around to the passenger side of her car, almost like she was attempting to avoid me, and began looking in her purse in the front passenger seat. Maria advised she could still not find her license. Maria then started looking for her license in the back seat, digging around in a duffle bag. Officer Morang spoke with Maria and advised he could smell the strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from Maria’s breath. Maria also stated that she had just left Elk’s Lodge. Maria advised that is where she ran over a curb which gave her a flat tire. Maria advised she only had four drinks while at the Elks Lodge. During field sobriety testing, Maria showed several signs of impairment and showed a BAC of .158 on a PBT. Maria was placed under arrest for DUI and agreed to the state test. Maria was then transported to the Whitfield County Jail, where she showed a BrAC of .147. Maria was charged with driving an unsafe vehicle, failure to maintain lane, traffic signal violation, and DUI alcohol .08 gm or more.