NWGA Scanner | May 20th, 2022

Tunnel Hill woman arrested again for DUI after crashing in Dalton while under the influence of drugs

According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, On May 5th, 2022, Officer Hill responded to the area of Chattanooga Road and I-75 NB in reference to a single-car crash. The caller stated that they had struck a guard rail and just needed a crash report. They stated that they had pulled over onto the northbound entrance ramp. The officer arrived and located a silver 2022 Infiniti G37 stationary on the right shoulder of the entrance ramp. Officer Hill reported, “[I] noticed that all four tires on the silver Infinite were flat. The right (passenger) rear tire had a large puncture mark on the sidewall. There was also a significant amount of damage on the right (passenger) rear quarter panel of the vehicle, where it crashed and swiped up against an object. The right (passenger) front corner of the vehicle also had a substantial amount of damage where it had also struck an object.” The 911 caller stated that she had arrived in the red Dodge Ram and stated that the crash was the result of a medical episode. The officer observed a female, later identified as Donna Larene Melton, 60, Tunnel Hill, in the driver seat. Donna seemed to be in an altered level of consciousness. The woman explained that Donna had crashed due to her blood sugar level and diabetes. Officer Hill reported, “She was acting rather strangely and did not appear to want me to speak to Donna very much. She remained very close to Donna the whole time and would often interject to answer questions. She acted in a manner in which she was trying to hide details about the incident. Donna was extremely drowsy and groggy. [I] asked Donna if she wanted me to have EMS en route to evaluate her and give her medical aid. Donna’s speech was extremely slurred and slow. She also seemed to be having a hard time focusing and seemed rather confused. She eventually stated that she did not want EMS en route. [I] confirmed this again with her, and she stated that she just wanted to go home. Donna was swaying while sitting in the stationary vehicle and seemed overwhelmingly drowsy. [I] noticed that Donna’s pupils were also constricted.” Donna stated to the officer that she was at work earlier and that her employer eventually made her leave and go home because of her behavior. Donna stated that she was driving when she suddenly blacked out around the intersection of Chattanooga Road and Shugart Road. Officer Gilreath informed Officer Hill that while she was speaking to Donna in her vehicle, Donna kept falling asleep numerous times. Medics on the scene stated Donna’s blood pressure was somewhat low, especially considering that she had just been involved in a crash. Diabetic emergencies do not cause pupil constriction. The woman who called 911 changed her story several times and was very hesitant and did not seem to want Officer Hill to speak to Donna by herself. Officer Hill reported that when Donna stepped out of the vehicle, she had extreme difficulty standing up. Donna admitted to taking several different medications that have drowsiness as a side effect. During the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) and field sobriety test, Donna showed several signs of drug impairment. Donna was then placed under arrest for DUI, and she agreed to the state test. Donna was booked into the Whitfield County Jail, charged with DUI – drugs, failure to maintain lane, and reckless driving. According to arrest records, Donna has a previous arrest for DUI.