Dalton teen charged with DUI after officer heading to work notices her terrible driving
According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, on August 27th, 2020, Officer McBrayer was on his way to work when he observed a vehicle stopped partially in the southbound lane of Shugart Road. This vehicle appeared to have been leaving the area of Walmart on Shugart Road. Officer McBrayer reported, "The vehicle was sitting at a red traffic signal waiting to turn north onto Shugart Road, but the vehicle was at least 10-15 feet beyond the stop bar with the rear of the vehicle." The officer reported that the distance was not close to the sensor that would cause the light to cycle. I then pulled in behind the vehicle, which was in the left hand turning lane. Officer McBrayer reported, "[I] stopped on the sensor to trigger the light to cycle." "When the light cycled to green, the vehicle took approximately 3-4 seconds before proceeding." The vehicle turned left and failed to maintain the left-hand lane and went into the right lane, nearly striking the curb. After crossing over the fog line, they drifted back to the dotted white line. The officer activated my emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle. Officer McBrayer reported, "Once my lights were activated, the driver of the vehicle made no indication that they were going to stop." "We were traveling approximately 44 mph." Once the officer activated his siren, the vehicle pulled to the right side of the roadway and stopped. The driver, Karen Martinez, 19 of Dalton, was explained the reason for the stop. She replied to everything that Officer McBrayer said in Spanish. When asked for her license, she advised that she was from Puerto Rico. At this time, Officer Perez arrived on the scene and assisted with translation for the remainder of the incident. Martinez stated that she had a license from Puerto Rico but that she had lost it. From experience Officer, McBrayer knew that there was no way to check Puerto Rico license files without the license in hand. Martinez was taken into custody for driving without a license. Officer Perez searched Martinez, and during the search, an empty can of beer was found in Martinez's pants. During the field sobriety test, she asked if she had to take the tests and was advised no. She then decided not to take any more tests. Martinez was booked into the Whitfield County Jail charged with underage consumption, driving without a license, improper lane change, traffic light violation, and DUI less safe.