NWGA Scanner | August 18th, 2021

Whitfield County deputy stops wrong way drunk driver on I-75 early Sunday morning

According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, on August 15th, 2021, at approximately 5:00 AM, Deputy Carter was traveling northbound on I-75 near the 337-mile marker. According to the report, “Deputy Carter noticed that there was a vehicle with its headlights on, traveling southbound on the northbound side. Deputy Carter was nearly struck by the vehicle but utilized evasive maneuvers to avoid the vehicle.” The deputy immediately notified dispatch and requested for units to be en route to the area to assist. The deputy then entered into the I-75 337 cut-through. The deputy merged with traffic on I-75 southbound at the 337-mile marker in an attempt to locate the vehicle. According to the report, “Deputy Carter traveled to the area of the 336-mile marker. Deputy Carter located the vehicle still traveling southbound on the northbound side. Deputy Carter activated his lights and siren, in an attempt to get the vehicle to stop. Deputy Carter traveled parallel with the vehicle.” The deputy advised dispatch to have Dalton City Police units e route to the area to assist as well. The deputy continued to travel next to the vehicle for several miles at speeds around 30MPH. According to the report, “Near the I-75 southbound 333 1/2 exit sign, the vehicle stopped. Deputy Carter began to exit his vehicle, but then the vehicle suddenly took off. Deputy Carter continued to follow the vehicle again.” The vehicle then stopped moments later. The deputy exited his vehicle and gave loud verbal commands for the driver to put his hands in the air with his Whitfield County-issued sidearm trained on the driver. The deputy crossed over the guard rail and escorted the individual back over the guard rail. While Deputy Carter was standing next to the individual, identified as Filiberto Herrera Mendez, 62, of Dalton, he could smell alcohol on his person. The deputy reported he observed Filiberto to have a difficult time holding his own balance due to him continually trying to prop himself up with the patrol vehicle. Sgt. Brunson, Deputy Buchanan, Deputy Fernandez, Deputy Witt, and Sgt. Saylors with the Dalton Police Department arrived on the scene to assist. According to the report, “Due to the extreme language barrier Deputy Fernandez began to speak with Filiberto. Deputy Fernandez attempted to conduct Standardized Field Sobriety but was unsuccessful. Filiberto was then placed under arrest for DUI. Filiberto was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, where he showed a .183 BAC on the state breath test. Filiberto was charged with DUI, reckless driving, and failure to maintain lane/driving on the wrong side of the roadway.