NWGA Scanner | May 3rd, 2022

Maryland man arrested for DUI after getting drunk while celebrating getting his driver’s license in Whitfield County

According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, On April 17th, 2022, 1:46 AM, Lt. Gibson responded to the area of South Dixie Hwy and Conway St in reference to a vehicle that had crashed into a ditch with three individuals were standing outside of it. One of the males, later identified as Mr. Santiago Jose-Matias, 31, Baltimore, Maryland, began walking toward the vehicle. Lt. Gibson had to get Santiago’s attention and request that he walk toward Lt. Gibson. According to the report, “Lt. Gibson asked Santiago if he spoke English, but Santiago responded that he did not. Lt. Gibson asked Santiago if he knew any English, but Santiago said, “No, I don’t know Spanish.” Lt. Gibson then requested that another deputy be en route in order to translate. While Lt. Gibson was waiting for the assisting unit to arrive, Santiago continued to speak to Lt. Gibson in what Lt. Gibson believed to be Spanish. Santiago took several unsteady steps toward the vehicle that was resting almost on its passenger side in the ditch facing south. Once to the vehicle, Santiago had to hold the vehicle in order to keep himself up. Santiago then attempted to open the passenger door, but he was unable to open it due to the position of the vehicle and being against the ground. Santiago then stumbled toward the front of the vehicle. As he attempted to make it to the driver’s side of the vehicle, which happened to be up the hill of the ditch, Santiago almost fell. When at the driver’s door, Santiago attempted to open the driver’s door, but he almost fell into the vehicle as he attempted to lift the door.” Santiago eventually retrieved a piece of paper from the vehicle and advised Lt. Gibson in Spanish that the piece of paper was his driver’s license. Lt. Gibson observed that Santiago’s eyes were bloodshot and watery and that he had the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person. Deputy Ruedas arrived on scene and assisted with translating for Lt. Gibson. Santiago advised he was here with family, and they were celebrating that he had just been issued his license. According to the report, “Santiago stated while out, he had been drinking approximately ten beers, but he is not used to drinking. Santiago stated he was “feeling like a badass”, and he was driving when he began to feel dizzy. Santiago stated he drank too much, and it caused him to crash into the ditch. Lt. Gibson then requested to know if Santiago wished to perform any standardized field sobriety tasks, to which he responded by saying, “Honestly, I’m just drunk.” Due to the two male passengers being local, Lt. Gibson asked why Santiago was driving. Both advised that Santiago was adamant that he drive due to having recently received his driver’s license. Both advised they tried to tell Santiago that he was too impaired to drive, but he did not listen to the ether of them. Santiago was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, where he showed a BAC of .188. Santiago was charged with failure to maintain lane and DUI / Alcohol / 0.08 Grams or more 21 and Older. According to the report, “Lt. Gibson then filled out the Georgia Administrative License Suspension form, and he personally served Santiago with it.”