NWGA Scanner | September 5th, 2021

Ringgold woman charged with DUI after driving at slow speeds all over the roadway in Cohutta

According to a Cohutta Police Department incident report, on August 25th, 2021, at approximately 3:36 AM, while Officer Renz was sitting stationary on the shoulder of State Route 71 (Cleveland Highway), he observed a 2000 Ford Explorer approaching southbound on SR 71, which appeared to be traveling at a very slow speed. Officer Renz reported, “[I] observed several vehicles pass the slow-moving ford explorer. [I] visually estimated the Ford Explorer to be traveling at approximately 33 mph in a 55 miles per hour zone. [I] checked the Ford Explorers speed with my speed detection equipment which [I] am trained and certified to use, and it showed 35 miles per hour.” The officer also observed the Ford Explorer moving side to side in a quick jerking motion. Officer Renz observed the Ford Explorer fail to maintain a single lane of travel traveling all over the road. The officer initiated a traffic stop on North Hills Drive and made contact with the driver, later identified as Mary Ann Clark, 56, of Ringgold. Officer Renz reported, “[I] immediately observed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from within the Ford Explorer. [I] also observed Ms. Clark’s eyes which appeared to be glazed over. Ms. Clark had a thick and mumbled speech. [I] asked Ms. Clark where she was headed, and she looked down at her shirt and advised she was headed to work at McDonald’s. Ms. Clark looked to be confused as she was advising me that she was headed to work. [I] observed Ms. Clark’s movement’s to be sluggish.” Varnell Police Officer Williams responded to the location to assist. While at the rear of the vehicle, Officer Renz observed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from Clark’s person/breath. According to the report, “Ms. Clark denied drinking any alcoholic beverages or having any prescription medication.” Officer Renz reported, “Due to the observations [I] made during Standardized Field Sobriety testing, a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from Ms. Clark’s person, and her driving [I] placed Ms. Clark under arrest for DUI driving under the influence of alcohol.” Clark was asked again if she had anything to drink recently and advised she had drunk the night before. Clark advised she would not give the officer a breath sample. She then refused the state testing. Clark was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, charged with DUI driving under the influence of alcohol less safe, and failure to maintain lane. According to the report, “The Whitfield County Jail staff had Ms. Clark give them a breath sample on their portable breathalyzer, and it showed a positive reading for alcohol.”