NWGA Scanner | November 1st, 2022
According to a Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Corporal Thomas was working a DUI checkpoint on the I-75 southbound 353 exit ramp supervised by LT Cunningham when a driver, later identified as Vicente Zárate Garcia, 35, of Tennessee, came through in his vehicle. Deputies attempted to get Garcia to stop, but he continued by them without stopping and turned westbound onto Cloud Springs Road. LT Cunningham was able to get Garcia as he pulled into Circle K at Scruggs Road. According to the report, “LT Cunningham observed Garcia pull into a parking spot but not stop in time and struck the curb sharply, causing the vehicle to luch back. LT Cunningham made contact with Garcia and could smell the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from him.” Corporal Thomas arrived and took over the traffic stop. Garcia indicated he did not speak very good English but did understand some. Garcia stated that he had been drinking and at first said he’d only had five beers. The deputy asked him if he had five, and he said no, just one. During field sobriety testing, Garcia showed several signs of impairment and a BAC of .09 on a PBT. Garcia was only able to provide a Mexican passport and advised he didn’t have a valid license. Garcia was placed under arrest for DUI and refused the state test. Garcia was booked into the Catoosa County Jail, charged with DUI, and driving without a valid driver’s license.