NWGA Scanner | November 1st, 2022

Unlicensed man arrested for 3rd DUI after being found passed out behind the wheel in Dalton

According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, On October 1st, 2022, at 3:36 AM, Officer Putnam was driving on routine patrol when Sgt. Burger communicated via radio that he located a truck stopped at the traffic light at the intersection of East Hawthorne Street and North Glenwood Avenue for several traffic light cycles. The officer reported that the driver, later identified as Antonio Martinez Lopez, 26, of Dalton, was passed out at the wheel of a 2018 GMC Canyon. Officer Ridley, Officer Putnam, and Sgt. Burger made contact with Lopez and woke him up. According to the report, “Lopez would not roll down his window or unlock the door, and still appeared to be passed out. At one point, it appeared Mr. Lopez let his foot slip off of the brake, which caused the truck to roll through the intersection traveling east across North Glenwood Avenue while the traffic light was red. He still appeared to be passed out, with his eyes closed.” Lopez then struck the curb and appeared to regain consciousness briefly. Lopez proceeded to hit the accelerator and continued driving east up the hill on Hawthorne Street. Officer Putnam reported, “[I] became more concerned because Mr. Lopez showed signs of driving impairment or was potentially having a medical emergency.” Lopez then struck a parked truck before re-entering the roadway and driving south on Paige Street. Officers disengaged from attempting to stop Lopez due to department policy. Officer Putnam reported, “[I] then observed Mr. Lopez drive to the Paige Street dead end and park the truck.” Officers were then able to take Lopez into custody. Officers observed the strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath. Mr. Lopez began babbling incoherently to officers making statements that did not seem to make sense. Lopez was speaking with extremely slurred speech, and his eyes were very glassy. After being read his Miranda warning, Lopez said in an extremely intoxicated speech, “Fifth amendment”. Lopez was placed under arrest for DUI and refused the state test. Lopez was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, where Officer Putnam printed out a driver’s history and learned he had several previous DUI arrests. Lopez was charged with DUI- less safe (3rd offense), leaving the scene of an accident (hit & run), traffic signal violation, driving while license revoked (for DUI) (2nd offense), and failure to maintain lane.