NWGA Scanner | September 1st, 2021

Tennessee men arrested after DUI traffic stop by GSP Trooper on I-75 in Whitfield County

According to a Georgia State Patrol incident report, on August 15th, 2021, at 3:03 AM, while traveling northbound on I-75 near the 333 entrance ramp, Trooper Shackleford observed a silver Hyundai Elantra enter onto I-75. Trooper Shackleford reported, “The vehicle maintained its position in the left lane and had speed that would fluctuate between 60 miles an hour and 84 miles an hour. [I] observed that the vehicle would weave within its lane and at times would fail to maintain its lane. [I] also observed that the registration sticker on the vehicle had expired in May.” The trooper initiated a traffic stop on I-75 northbound near exit 341. The trooper also observed that the front seat passenger was not wearing his seatbelt. Trooper Shackleford reported, “While speaking to the occupants [I] detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverages. [I] asked the driver where they were coming from. The driver advised they were coming from Cleveland, Tennessee, which [I] found strange given that Cleveland Tennessee was northeast of our location.” The driver, later identified as Courtney Bidwell, 24, of Cleveland, TN, then changed his statement and stated he was picking his friends up. The trooper reported she observed that all occupants in the vehicle appeared to be impaired due to their very slurred speech, lethargic behavior, and watery eyes. According to tp the report, the trooper asked Bidwell if anyone in the vehicle had consumed alcohol. Bidwell advised that no one in the vehicle had consumed any alcohol. The trooper became concerned that Bidwell was not truthful with her due to the strong odor of alcoholic beverages emitting from the vehicle. Trooper Shackleford reported, “[I] observed that Mr. Bidwell’s speech was slurred and mumbled. [I] asked Mr. Bidwell if [I] could look at his eyes. Mr. Bidwell advised [I] could. After two passes [I] observed nystagmus in Mr. Bidwell’s eyes. Once Mr. Bidwell was out of the vehicle and speaking, [I] observed that the odor of alcoholic beverage was coming from Mr. Bidwell’s breath.” Bidwell showed several signs of impairment during the test and was then asked to submit a breath sample into a preliminary breath test device. According to the report, Bidwell was given multiple chances to blow but would pretend to blow in the device while holding his breath. Trooper Shackleford reported, “Mr. Bidwell then stated, “We all went out tonight, I don’t want to blow into that. I just went out to have fun with my friends”. Mr. Bidwell also advised me he was in the process of paying for a previous DUI. Mr. Bidwell began to plead me to “help him out”. [I] asked Mr. Bidwell if he was concerned that he would be over the legal limit. Mr. Bidwell advised that he did not know. Mr. Bidwell then advised he did not want to provide a breath sample.” Bidwell was then placed under arrest for DUI again. Bidwell refused implied consent notice. Bidwell also advised the vehicle he was driving was uninsured. Bidwell was allowed to call his mother. While talking with her, Bidwell made the statement, “I was driving and got pulled over. All these people can literally do the same s**t and get away with it every f***ing weekend. I do it one time, and it’s a sin”. According to the report, the trooper then observed the passenger side front door of the vehicle open into the fast lane. She approached the passenger and advised him to close the door so it didn’t get hit. The passenger was identified as Dakota Bidwell, 23, of Cleveland, TN. Dakota Bidwell asked if his cousin was going to jail. Trooper Shackleford reported, “[I] advised Mr. Dakota Bidwell he was. Mr. Dakota Bidwell then stated, “You’re gonna have to arrest me too”. [I] asked why. Mr. Dakota Bidwell stated, “Cause I’m gonna do public indecency.” He began to pull his shirt up and attempting to take his pants off while standing in the fast lane of the interstate.” The trooper was finally able to get Dakota Bidwell out of the interstate. Dakota Bidwell then attempted to start exposing himself to her again. Dakota Bidwell had to be told to stop at least four times. After a short amount of time, Mr. Dakota Bidwell tried to expose himself again until passenger Destinie Moorer, 25, of Chattanooga, TN, told him to stop. According to the report, once the wrecker driver arrived on scene, Dakota Bidwell was advised by the trooper to go sit in the tow truck to be transported. Dakota Bidwell refused and attempted to raise his hand in a strike position. Trooper Shackleford reported, “Mr. Dakota Bidwell was afforded multiple opportunities throughout the incident to obey commands. As Mr. Dakota Bidwell raised his hand, [I] grabbed his hands and placed him under arrest.” Dakota Bidwell was transported to Whitfield County Jail by Tunnel Hill Police Officer Byrd charged with willful obstruction of law officers, use of safety belts violation (adults 18+ yrs old), and pedestrians must walk on sidewalk/shoulder. Courtney was transported to Whitfield County Jail, charged with DUI- driving under the influence of alcohol, operate w/o proper tag/decal; new resident 30 days to reg, maximum limits, and no insurance.