NWGA Scanner | October 30th, 2022

Teen arrested for DUI after crashing through power pole and then plowing over 15 tombstones in Dalton Cemetery

According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, On October 2nd, 2022, at 3:39 AM, Officer Hill responded to the area of West Emery Street and Lewell Street in reference to a vehicle crash with possible injuries. Officer Hill reported, “When close to the intersection of West Emery Street and 13 WH, [I] looked to my right and observed a white male running eastbound between the grave markers. The male was not wearing athletic clothes typical of running and appeared distraught. Due to the proximity to the crash scene and the time of the morning, [I] stopped my vehicle and attempted to stop the male. Upon getting closer to the male, [I] yelled for him to stop, which he did. [I] asked the male what he was doing, and he said nervously that he was running. [I] observed that the male’s clothes appeared slightly dirty, as if he had just been involved in a crash. While walking to my patrol vehicle, [I] observed the male stumble and lose his balance. The male identified himself as Benjamin Lyric Burkett, 18, of Dalton. While Benjamin was speaking, Officer Hill detected the strong and distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. The officer also noticed that his speech was very slow and slurred. His eyes were also bloodshot red, according to the report. When to explain what happened, Benjamin looked down and sighed. He stated, “I got really drunk and f**ked up my car, and I’ve been running, and I can’t even lie to you.” Benjamin stated, “I did not realize I was this messed up until I took the corner and was like, oh shit”. The 18-year-old stated that he had “2 to 3 or 3 to 4” Cayman Jack’s beers. During field sobriety testing, Benjamin showed several signs of impairment and showed a BrAC of .200 on a PBT. During the entire incident, Benjamin apologized for dragging officers out there and him being “stupid”. Benjamin was placed under arrest for DUI and agreed to the state test. Officer located the 2010 Acura, which had crashed completely through a power pole and then plowed over 15 tombstones in Cemetery prior to coming to a rest on top of the tombstones. Benjamin was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, where he showed a BAC of .178 on the state test. Benjamin was charged with DUI under 21, failure to maintain lane, hit and run, and driving on a restricted license.