LaFayette Attorney arrested for DUI after following too closely and causing crash

According to a Georgia State Patrol incident report, On November 14th, 2022, at 5:29 PM, Trooper Walthour was requested by LaFayette Police Department to work a two-vehicle crash on Napier Street. Trooper Walthour arrived and spoke with the driver of the at-fault vehicle, identified as Mary Jane Palumbo Melton, 66, of LaFayette. According to the report, “LaFayette PD Officer Coker could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from Melton’s breath, and with Melton being a city clerk for the city of LaFayette, it would have been a conflict of interest for him to work the crash.” Trooper Walthour reported, “After speaking with Ms. Melton, [I] also detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from her breath. [I] asked her if she had anything to drink. She replied that she only had one glass of approximately 4 ounces of red wine with lunch around 12:00. [I] also noticed that one of her eyes appeared bloodshot and watery. However, the other was not. I also noticed one pupil was much larger in size than the other. She then stated that one of her eyes was fake. She asked me if she wanted her to take out her fake eye. [I] told her several times that I did not want her to take it out. However, she did anyway. She then dropped her fake eye on the ground. After retrieving the eye, she attempted to hand it to me. [I] politely declined the offer to hold it.” During field sobriety testing, Melton showed several signs of impairment and would not blow hard enough for a sufficient sample on PBT. The trooper had to manually capture the short breath. Melton blew positive for the presence of alcohol on her breath (.057). Melton was then placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol – less safe, and she agreed to the state test. Melton was transported to the Walker County Jail, where she was charged with DUI – less safe and following too closely

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