NWGA Scanner | December 23rd, 2021
According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, on December 11th, 2021, at around 4:53 PM, Officer Sangphim and Sgt. Wade responded to a BOLO for a red Mini Cooper in the area of the Armuchee Connector at Three Mile Road. According to the report, “Dispatch advised that the caller stated that the driver was throwing out beer cans and failing to maintain his lane of travel.” Sgt. Wade reported, “[I] observed a vehicle in the distance in front of me a small passenger car passing vehicles on the wrong side of the roadway in a no-passing zone. The vehicle was traveling North on the Armuchee Connector and passed another vehicle in a Southbound turning lane.” Officer Sangphim reported, “Myself and SGT. Wade activated the lights and siren on our patrol vehicle and attempted to stop the Red Mini Cooper. [I] also passed several empty beer cans in the middle of the road. The driver did not stop immediately and [I] began to believe that the driver was going to flee or attempt to elude us.” Sgt. Wade reported, “Once behind the Mini Cooper [I] observed the vehicle to weave within their lane of travel and at one point begin to veer toward the double yellow center line with vehicles traveling South at this time [I] began to drive more on top of the centerline in attempts to warn other vehicles traveling south.” Officers were able to get the vehicle stopped on the Armuchee Connector just before Old Dalton Road. Sgt. Wade Reported, “Once the vehicle stopped and as [I] exited my patrol vehicle [I] could not see exactly what the driver was doing due to the dark tinted windows but [I] could see body movement consistent with someone leaning toward or reaching toward the center console area which is not normal actions of a driver after stopping their motor vehicle. Officer conducted a felony traffic stop and took the driver, identified as Ashton Thomas Hopper, 32, of Rome, into custody. Officer reported immediately smelling the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Ashton’s person. The odor of an alcoholic beverage would increase when Ashton would speak to them. Sgt. Wade asked Ashton how much he had to drink today, and Ashton stated, “three beers”. During HGN, Sgt. Wade’s test observed six out of six clues for alcohol impairment. According to the report, “Ashton then submitted to an Alco-Sensor breath test, the Alco-Sensor did indicate a presence of alcohol showing a BAC .301. After submitting to the Alco-Sensor test Ashton stated “I’m f***ed”, Officer Sangphim asked Ashton how much have you had to drink today, and he stated “about 8” beers. Ashton stated he was drinking Natural Light. Ashton was then placed under arrest for driving while under the influence of alcohol. Ashton was then read GA’s implied consent notice for blood and refused to test. His window tint was also found to be illegal. Ashton was then transported to the Floyd County Jail, where he was charged with window tint, passing in a no-passing zone, DUI driving under the influence of alcohol, driving without licenses on the person, and seatbelt.