NWGA Scanner | November 1st, 2021
According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, on October 12th, 2201, at around 11:05 PM, Officer Selby was stopped at Sheridan Avenue and East Morris Street when he observed a white Nissan Armada with no operating tail lights. The officer initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle at East Morris Street at Lester Ave. Officer Selby reported, “While coming to a stop [I] observed the rear windshield wiper turn on and stay on. [I] found this to be odd as it was not raining, so this was unnecessary. [I] then shined my spotlight into the vehicle to illuminate the occupants inside. When [I] did this, [I] could observe the occupants both moving around inside the vehicle in a manner that made me believe they were hiding something. [I] then approached the vehicle and shined my flashlight into the rear driver’s side window and observed the passenger reaching behind his seat.” According to the report, When the officer shined his light into the floorboard, he observed the passenger attempting to hide several cans of Modelo. When the officer made contact with the driver, identified as Mario Bautista, 34, of Dalton, he could detect a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from inside the vehicle. Officer Selby reported, “[I] also noticed that his eyes were glassy. [I] then asked Mario for his driver’s license, and he said he did not have them. He then told me he does not have a driver’s license.” When Mario responded, the officer noticed that his speech was slurred. The officer reported he had an extremely difficult time understanding what Mario was telling him. According to the report, after the officer had Mario exit the vehicle, he observed him be unsteady on his feet as if he was having trouble balancing. Officer Selby reported, “[I] then asked Mario how much he had to drink, and Mario answered, “Only five, six, seven… five, six… or six.” Once at the rear of the vehicle, the officer could again detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his mouth area and that his eyes were still glassy. According to the report, Field sobriety tests were stopped due to the extreme language barrier. While further investigating, the officer discovered Mario was from Guatemala. Mario was placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. According to the report, Mario then asked officers if he could get his wife to come to get him. Officer then located several Modelo beer cans throughout the vehicle. Mario was then transported to the Whitfield County Jail charged with DUI (alcohol less safe), driving without a license, open container, and tail light violation. The passenger was issued a citation for open container violation.