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Dalton man arrested for DUI after nearly sliding into patrol car Saturday morning during snow storm

Updated: Feb 13

According to a Dalton Police Department incident report on Saturday, February 8th, 2020, at around 10:20 AM, Officer Fouts and McBrayer were patrolling the area of Walnut Avenue as a two-man patrol unit. According to the report it was actively snowing and had been doing so for several hours. As they began crossing the Walnut Avenue Bridge, they passed several vehicles negotiating the slick conditions with no problems. As they continued, they saw a lifted white pickup truck beginning to spin sideways in front of them. The vehicle began sliding into the center lane and appeared to be coming right at their patrol car. Officer McBrayer hit the brakes and began slowly changing lanes to keep from losing control of the patrol vehicle. As they passed the truck, the front end was crossing into the lane that they were originally located. Officer McBrayer turned around and made a traffic stop on the truck. They made contact with the male driver, later identified as Eddie Meraz, 25, of Dalton. When he rolled down his window, officers noticed the front window was very fogged up, making it very hard to drive with the window in that condition. They asked Meraz to step out of the vehicle after smelling alcohol coming from within. When asked if he had been drinking again after stating no the first time, he stated, "Not a lot really." At the conclusion of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the officer did not perform field sobriety tests anymore due to the slick conditions. Meraz was then placed under arrest for driving under the influence. Once in custody, he was searched and officers located a large amount of cash in his pocket. Officer Fouts read that Meraz implied consent, in which he refused to provide a breath sample at the jail. He did blow into a field Alco-Sensor providing a result of .09 grams. Meraz was then transported to the Whitfield County Jail where he was cited for DUI, failure to maintain lane, and too fast for conditions.