Dalton man charged with DUI after deputy notices truck driving all over the roadway
According to a Whitfield County Sheriff's Office incident report, on Saturday, February 29th, 2020, at approximately 6:25 PM, a deputy observed a white Chevrolet Silverado with Georgia tag traveling east on GA-2. The deputy observed the vehicle was having trouble maintaining its speed. The vehicle would speed up to close to 70 mph and then slow to close 60 mph. The deputy then observed the vehicle fail to maintain its lane as both passenger side tires went over the white fog line. The vehicle failed to maintain its lane again as both driver side tires then proceeded to go over the yellow divider line. The vehicle then slowed down very abruptly as it turned on its left turn signal and turned north onto Old Prater Mill Road. The continued to fail to maintain lane. The vehicle then pulled into a driveway on Old Prater Mill Road. At this point, the deputy conducted a traffic stop with the vehicle. The deputy made contact with the driver Ray Eldreth Harper, 65, of Dalton, as he was stepping out of his vehicle to leave. The deputy asked Harper to have a seat back in his vehicle. The deputy smelled a strong odor of alcoholic beverages emitting from the vehicle and noticed Harper's eyes were red. The deputy proceeded with the normal traffic stop procedures. When the deputy asked Harper had his driver's license with him, he replied, "No." When asked where his license was, Harper replied: "I don't have a driver's license." After stepping out of the vehicle, Harper asked the deputy if he could step into the grass and "pee-pee." Harper was uneasy on his feet and had to grab the bed of his truck in order to keep his balance so he could walk to the rear of his vehicle. When asked if he had been consuming any alcoholic beverages, Harper replied: "Yeah, I've had a few drinks." Harper was very uneasy on his feet and stumbled from side to side when he was not using his truck for balance. Harper also made it a point to point out they were in his driveway telling the deputy several times. The deputy asked Harper how many alcoholic beverages he consumed, and Harper replied 3 or 4 drinks. Harper then stated, "If you're gonna charge me with DUI, let's go ahead and do it." The deputy asked Harper if he was refusing to participate in field sobriety testing, and Harper replied, "Yeah." The deputy asked Harper if he was going to submit to the testing read in the implied consent notice, and Harper stated, "No." The deputy discovered a Georgia ID card on Harper's person and learned that Harper's Georgia driver's license was revoked. Harper was transported to the Whitfield County Jail. Once at the jail, Harper agreed to blow into an Alco-Sensor 3. The reading on the Alco-Sensor 3 was 0.287. Harper was then booked on charges of failure to maintain lane, driving while license revoked, and driving under the influence of alcohol, less safe.