NWGA Scanner | August 12th, 2022

Off-duty officer arrested for DUI after being stopped for speeding in Gordon County

According to a Georgia State Patrol incident report, On August 3rd, 2022, at approximately 8:27 PM, Trooper Terry was patrolling on Rome Road near the Gordon/ Floyd County line when he observed a 2012 Dodge Ram 2500 traveling 73 MPH in the 45 MPH zone. Trooper Terry performed a traffic stop on Rome Road in front of the Crazy Acres bar. The driver, identified as Matthew Huntley Burgess, 39, of Calhoun, came to a stop in the center turn lane on Rome Road. Trooper Terry reported, “[I] asked him what he was up to that day, and he pointed to the bar and stated, “I’m just dropping them off, big guy”. [I] noticed when Mr. Burgess would speak, there was a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. [I] further noticed his speech was slurred. [I] asked who he was dropping off, and [I] could not clearly see who was in the vehicle, and I asked if it was kids. He stated they were. Later [I] discovered it was two adult female passengers. [I] asked Mr. Burgess how much he had to drink that night, and he very hesitantly stated he had one beer about three hours ago.” Burgess later hesitantly stated he probably had about six beers before driving. During the PBT test, Burgess would not blow hard enough even though he stated he knew how to take the test. On the second attempt, he still only blew very softly, and the trooper manually captured a small sample of alcohol. According to the report, “He further stated he knew he had to bring his passengers back and that he knew he shouldn’t be driving. He stated his passengers had been drinking a lot more than him.” Trooper Terry reported, “[I] asked if they had gone to the bars on 3rd Avenue, and he stated, “Yea, unfortunately”.” When asked if he would perform field sobriety tests, Burgess asked me if he could contact his employer. According to online records, Burgess works for the Cave Spring Police Department as a patrolman. Trooper Terry reported, “[I] advised him he was not under arrest and why did he need to speak with them. He still insisted on speaking with his employer. [I] asked who his employer was, and after he told me [I] advised him [I] still have a job to do and that [I] wish he hadn’t put me in this situation. Mr. Burgess’s response was, “I’m sorry big guy”. [I] advised him that, given his employment and driving behavior, on top of his alcohol consumption, depending on the test results that it’s still less safe. Mr. Burgess advised me yes, [I] know that. He continued to insist on making the phone call.” Mr. Burgess stated that he and some friends were in Rome having some drinks and that he was the soberest one.” During Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, Burgess showed several signs of impairment and BAC of .069. Burgess then began begging the trooper to please allow him to call a ride and that he would never drink and drive again. Trooper Terry reported, “[I] advised him [I] have a job to do and that he had put himself in the position he was in.” Burgees was then placed under arrest for DUI and agreed to the state test. Burgess was booked into the Gordon County Jail and charged with DUI and speeding.