NWGA Scanner | September 13th, 2021
According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, on September 8th, 2021, at approximately 3:15 PM, BOLO was called in on a silver Honda Civic traveling south on I-75 near the 342-mile marker. According to the report, “The caller was another driver and advised dispatch that the Honda was driving all over the roadway. Deputy Peden caught up with the vehicle on I-75 southbound near the 328 exits and observed the car was failing to maintain the lane. Deputy Peden initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and was joined by Deputies Pangle and Kohler, who had also been responding to the lookout.” Deputies approached the vehicle and immediately noticed an open bottle of Corona beer next to the driver, easily within his reach. The beer bottle was seated upright directly behind the center console and was partially full. Deputy Peden had the driver, later identified as Cristian Alexander Pablo-virbes, 18, of Chattanooga, turn off the vehicle, and both occupants exit the car. According to the report, “Deputy Peden found several empty bottles of beer in the trunk of the car. Deputy Pangle could smell alcohol on Mr. Virbe’s breath and noticed behavior that indicated he was intoxicated. Mr. Virbes would have difficulty balancing and could be seen nearly stumbling when taking steps. At one point, Mr. Virbes was standing at the edge of the shoulder of the interstate, and Deputy Pangle had to support Virbes to prevent him from falling backward. Deputy Pangle questioned Mr. Virbes about consuming alcohol, and he initially said that he had not had any. He also claimed that the beer in the vehicle was from friends that he had dropped off in Chattanooga. Eventually, Mr. Virbes told Deputy Pangle that he had drunk “not too much”. When asked to specify what he considers not too much, Mr. Virbes stated “one” and would not elaborate.” Deputies believed that Virbes was driving under the influence of alcohol to the point that it was less safe for him to drive. Virbes refused the state implied consent notice. Virbes was then placed under arrest for DUI. The passenger Miguel Pablo Sebastion did not appear to have been drinking but was also unlicensed so he was unable to remove the vehicle from the interstate. Virbes was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, where he was charged with driving while unlicensed, open container, DUI less safe alcohol, and failure to maintain lane.