Dalton man arrested for DUI after causing two-vehicle crash while distracted

According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, On February 13th, 2023, at 9:21 PM, Officer Hill responded to the intersection of Veterans Drive and Hale Bowen Drive in reference to a two-vehicle crash. The 2013 Infiniti G37 driver, identified as Roberto Romo Pineda, 47, of Dalton, started to hand me his driver’s license and insurance card. Officer Hill reported, “While Roberto was speaking, [I] immediately detected the strong and distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. [I]noticed that Roberto’s eyes were red. [I] also noticed that Roberto’s speech was slurred and slow. He was difficult to understand multiple times. While Roberto was standing still, [I] noticed that he was swaying back and forth. [I] then asked Roberto if he had anything to drink. He stated that he had not. [I] asked Roberto when he had last consumed alcohol. He stated, “One hour ago”. He stated that he had only consumed one bottle of beer. When [I] asked Roberto if he would do a few field sobriety tests for me so that [I] could make sure that he was safe to operate a motor vehicle, Roberto stated that he would not. [I] then asked Roberto if he thought he was safe to drive a motor vehicle. Roberto admitted that he knew he was not supposed to be driving. He then told me that the crash was a result of him being distracted on his phone.” When officers asked if he drank alcohol and drove after often, he stated that he did and that it wasn’t a big deal. Roberto stated he was on his phone when he struck the other vehicle. Roberto was placed under arrest for DUI and refused the state test. The victim in the crash stated that Roberto asked her several times not to call the police and even begged her. Roberto was booked into the Whitfield County Jail and charged with DUI – alcohol less safe, distracted driving, too fast for conditions, and improper tag/decal.

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