According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, On March 22nd, 2023, Deputy Figg responded to a BOLO on Glenwood Ave just south of the North Dalton Bypass. Whitfield County 911 advised the suspect DUI vehicle was all over the roadway and even driving onto the sidewalk around Glenwood Ave and Sasafrass. Around Emory Street, the vehicle ran off the road and onto the sidewalk. Then around Morris Street, still on Glenwood Ave, the vehicle crossed over the double yellow line into oncoming traffic. The vehicle continued north on Glenwood Ave, pulling into the Smiles Fuel on Glenwood Avenue at Hawthorne Street. As Deputy Figg located the vehicle in the parking lot of the Smiles Fuel, the driver came out of the store and had to use the hood for balance. Deputy Figg observed the driver drift in his lane. Deputy initiated a traffic stop and made contact with the driver, identified as Eric Steven Willingham, 48, of Cohutta. According to the report, “Eric got a very hard look on his face, the look being consistent with someone wishing to fight.” During Field Sobriety testing, Eric showed several signs of impairment. Eric was placed under arrest for DUI and agreed to the state test. Eric was then transported Eric to the Whitfield County Jail, where he showed a BAC of .270. Eric was charged with failing to maintain a single lane and DUI.
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