Chattanooga man charged with DUI after failing to maintain lane while four times the legal limit
The following was copied directly from an incident report filed by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office regarding DUI arrest: On 03/28/2020 at approximately 22:08 hrs, Deputy B. Pack and Deputy R. Barnett were on routine patrol on Cleveland Hwy near Beaverdale Rd. Deputy Pack and Deputy Barnett noticed a black Honda Accord traveling north in front of them that was failing to drive within a single lane of travel. The vehicle was partially in the turning lane, drove across the inside lane of travel, and partially into the outside lane of travel. The vehicle then turned right onto Beaverdale Rd. While doing so, the driver's side tires left the lane of travel again and drove onto the concrete median. Deputy Pack activated his blue lights and the vehicle came to a stop on Garden Ln, just off Beaverdale Rd. Deputy Pack exited his patrol vehicle and made contact with the driver, Willie Lee Gunter, 47, of Chattanooga. Upon approaching the vehicle, Deputy Pack immediately detected the distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage. Mr. Gunter's speech rate was slow, slurred and his eyes were glossy. Deputy Pack explained the reason for the traffic stop and asked Mr. Gunter how much he had to drink. Mr. Gunter said that he had one glass of wine. Mr. Gunter also said that he had taken Gabapentin and his other prescribed medication, however he would not say what it was. Deputy Pack asked Mr. Gunter if he knew where he was at. Mr. Gunter looked around for a moment and said "East Ridge." Deputy Pack informed him that he was in Dalton. Deputy Pack asked Mr. Gunter if he would step out of the vehicle. While exiting, Mr. Gunter was unsteady on his feet and almost fell. Deputy Pack assisted him to the rear of his vehicle. While speaking with Mr. Gunter, Deputy Pack continued to detect the distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person. Mr. Gunter said that he was on his way home from Fort Oglethorpe and was heading home to Chattanooga. Deputy Pack asked Mr. Gunter if he believed that he was safe to be driving a vehicle. He responded by saying "no." Deputy Pack asked Mr. Gunter if he would perform a few field sobriety examinations. Mr. Gunter said "sir, I am not going to disrespect you, I've been drinking." Deputy Pack continued to ask Mr. Gunter if he would submit to field sobriety examinations. He stated that he was unable to do the walk and turn or the one leg stand, but Deputy Pack could check his eyes. Deputy Pack attempted to perform horizontal gaze nystagmus, but Mr. Gunter was unable to follow Deputy Pack's finger. Based on the manner in which he was operating the vehicle and his manifestations of impairment, Deputy Pack placed Mr. Gunter under arrest for driving under the influence. Deputy Pack read Mr. Gunter the Georgia Implied Consent Notice for Suspects Age 21 or Over. After reading the notice, Mr. Gunter agreed to submit to a test of his blood, breath, and urine. Deputy Pack placed Mr. Gunter in the back seat of the patrol vehicle and contacted the list wrecker service, Parrish Towing, to remove his vehicle. While waiting for them to arrive, Deputy Pack and Deputy Barnett searched Mr. Gunter's vehicle incident to arrest, looking for any intoxicants. While searching the vehicle, Deputy Barnett located a bag in the front seat with various prescription medications inside. Several of these medications fell under the central nervous system depressant category. Deputy Barnett also located a bottle of MD 20/20 that only had approximately 1/4 of the contents remaining in the bottle. There was also an empty bottle of MD 20/20 in the vehicle. Given his level of intoxication, Deputy Pack asked Mr. Gunter to blow into an Alco-Sensor III. The device showed a positive reading of 0.400. Since the level was so high, Deputy Pack transported Mr. Gunter to Hamilton Medical Center to be medically cleared at the request of the booking supervisor. Upon arrival at Hamilton Medical Center, Mr. Gunter was visited by the physician on duty, who cleared him for detention. The lab staff also drew two vials of blood from Mr. Gunter, which were sealed in a legal BA kit. Deputy Pack took possession of the BA kit from the lab technician and it will be sent to the GBI Crime Lab for analysis. Deputy Pack and Deputy Barnett transported Mr. Gunter to the detention center. Upon arrival, Deputy Pack administered the breath test using an Intoxilyzer 9000 (SN: 90-001865). Two breath samples were taken and the lowest reading was 0.353. Deputy Pack and Deputy Barnett completed citations for failure to maintain lane (UTC#285363), driving under the influence (UTC#285364), and open container (UTC#285365). Deputy Pack also took possession of four Tennessee driver's licenses that were in Mr. Gunter's wallet. He completed an administrative license suspension form and explained the temporary driving permit to Mr. Gunter. This form will be mailed to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. Mr. Gunter was turned over to the detention staff without incident.