NWGA Scanner | January 18th, 2022
According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, on December 7th, 2021, at around 5:59 PM, Officer Sangphim was conducting patrol operations in the area of Everett Springs Road near Floyd Springs Road. Officer Sangphim reported, “It was dusk, and [I] observed the vehicle behind me did not have it’s headlights on. [I] had been called to the area to check for a suspicious vehicle that had been observed in the area.” The officer stopped the vehicle after observing the driver fail to maintain her lane of travel twice. The officer approached the driver, and she identified herself as Patricia Karin Lopez, 42, of Rome. Officer Sangphim reported, “[I] explained to Mrs. Lopez why [I] was stopping her, and she stated she was not familiar with the area and was distracted by her GPS. While speaking with Mrs. Lopez, [I] observed that she was struggling to keep her eyes open (her eyes closed several times for periods of 2 to 4 seconds). Mrs. Lopez’s speech and body language were lethargic (closing of eyes for extended periods, head drooping / hanging to one side). [I] then asked Mrs. Lopez to step out of the vehicle to conduct a further investigation for impairment. Mrs. Lopez had trouble maintaining her balance while walking to the front of my patrol vehicle. [I] again noted that Mrs. Lopez’s eyes would close, and it appeared that she was going to fall asleep.” During Field sobriety tests, Lopez showed several signs of impairment. Mrs. Lopez gave a breath sample on a PBT, which did not give an indication of the presence of alcohol. Officer Sangphim reported, “[I] then placed Mrs. Lopez under arrest and suspected she was under the influence of drugs. [I] read Mrs. Lopez Georgia’s Implied Consent notice for blood. She stated she would submit to a blood test.” Lopez was then transported to the Floyd County Jail, where she was charged with distracted driving hands-free law, failure to maintain a single lane, and DUI driving under the influence of drugs.