NWGA Scanner | March 29th, 2021

Tennessee man charged with DUI after 911 call reporting reckless driver on I-75 in Whitfield County

According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, on March 17th, 2021, at around 9:34 PM, Deputy Figg responded to the area of I-75 South to the on-ramp of 336 southbound for a BOLO on a possible very intoxicated driver. The 911 caller, later identified as an active member of the Coast Guard transferring from Michigan to his new duty station in Florida, was following and staying with the vehicle. The Coast Guardsman stated the movements of the vehicle were abrupt and caused him great concern that the driver was a very impaired driver. The man later advised the deputy he was very concerned that the driver was very impaired and needed to be taken off the roadway to protect the public. Deputy Figg spotted the Coast Guardsman and the vehicle, a Honda CRV silver in color with a paper tag. As the deputy was approaching, he observed the vehicle suddenly drive off the left shoulder of the roadway, come back on the roadway, abruptly go back to the left side, then back into the left lane of I-75. The vehicle then suddenly went halfway into the center lane of I-75. The vehicle was driving in a very reckless manner, according to the deputy. The deputy conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. While he was approaching the vehicle, the driver door opened, and the driver, identified as Michael William Defuria, 30, of Mount Juliet, TN, began coming out of the vehicle. Michael was quickly given commands to get back into the vehicle. Michael was having trouble understanding simple instructions. The deputy immediately observed Michael’s eyes were bloodshot, and he had very slurred speech. When asked if he had a license, Michael stated he had a problem with his license out of Tennessee as they were suspended. Dispatch advised Michael was revoked through Tennessee for DUI. Michael had to be assisted as he was having trouble walking on his own accord to the patrol vehicle. Michael did not understand the instructions. He was under arrest and to walk to the patrol vehicle. While being assisted, Michael asked where he was. Due to Michael’s slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, having to be assisted in walking, having to have things repeated several times, having many years in law enforcement, and having dealt with a lot of impaired drivers, Deputy Figg recognized he was dealing with an intoxicated driver. The deputy observed a six-pack of alcoholic beverages stating on the can 5.9 percent alcohol. The deputy observed a small trash bag hanging from the dash with empty beer cans. Michael was transported to the Whitfield County Jail charged with DUI, failure to maintain lane, improper lane change or usage, reckless driving, driving without insurance, and driving with a suspended or revoked license.