According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, On March 4th, 2023, at 4:17 AM, Deputy Deaver was stationary at the Stroll and Shine car wash located on Cleveland Highway facing east observing traffic. Deputy Deaver noticed a small white passenger car headed northbound at a noticeably low speed. According to the report, “Deputy Deaver then waited approximately five seconds before attempting to follow the vehicle. Deputy Deaver was unable to observe the vehicle until at the intersection of Beaverdale Road due to the vehicle accelerating rapidly after passing Orchard Way. Once Deputy Deaver started to observe the vehicle in the inside northbound travel lane, Deputy Deaver then observed the vehicle go from the right side of his lane to the left side several times. Deputy Deaver then observed the vehicle change lanes into the right lane and turn into the Quickway gas station parking lot off Maresca Drive. Deputy Deaver believed that the driver of the vehicle was possibly impaired or distracted and trying to avoid Deputy Deaver’s patrol vehicle. Deputy Deaver then relocated to Shades of Summer, located at 3052 Cleveland Highway beside Lakewood Drive. Deputy Deaver, based on the actions of the vehicle, believed that the vehicle would exit the gas station and continue north on Cleveland Highway when Deputy Deaver’s patrol vehicle was out of sight. Immediately after Deputy Deaver had stopped at the Shades of Summer business, Deputy Deaver observed the white passenger car pass by headed north on Cleveland Highway. Deputy Deaver then pursued the vehicle in an attempt to initiate a traffic stop. Once Deputy Deaver was behind the vehicle, he initiated his emergency blue lights just before the intersection of Cleveland Highway and Tea Roll Drive.” The vehicle then continued onto Tea Roll Drive and parked in a driveway at 3036 Tea Roll Drive. Once the vehicle was parked, the driver Joshua Cardoza Hernandez, 23, of Dalton, automatically exited the vehicle stating, “Im home” and safe. Deputy Deaver asked Hernandez several times to get back into his vehicle, to which he refused by not getting in his vehicle by stating, “Why I’m home, I’m safe now”. Hernandez continued to state that he was home and was safe. Deputy Deaver noticed that Hernandez. Showed several signs of impairment that resembled an intoxicated person. The driver then stated that he wanted to be honest and advised that he was driving one of his “homeboys” homes and was on his way back home. At this time, Deputy Deaver called for another unit based on the driver not complying with lawful verbal commands. Hernandez’s driver’s license showed his address to be 275 Rowland way which was not the house he was at. Hernandez then motioned like he was stumbling and stated, “If I was really intoxicated, I would be like, oh, I’m sorry, bro, really, I’m home.” Hernandez was asked to do field sobriety by Deputy Deaver and stated, “Me personally I do but no”. Hernandez was placed under arrest for DUI and refused the state test. According to the report, “Deputy Deaver then searched the vehicle incident to Mr. Hernandez’s arrest for fruits of the crime of impaired driving. Upon searching the vehicle, Deputy Deaver located an open can of Bud Light (25 fluid ounces).” Hernandez was booked into the Whitfield County Jail, charged with DUI less safe and open container.
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