Man charged with DUI and identity fraud after crashing into fence, car Sunday morning in Dalton
According to Dalton Police Report on December 15, 2019, at approximately 1:41 AM, Dalton Patrol Officer Rittenhouse was dispatched to the area of Paige Street and Underwood Street in reference to a green van that had struck a fence and then hit a black passenger car. A short moment later Officer Rittenhouse arrived on scene and observed a van close to a black passenger car. officer Rittenhouse stated, "This van had its reverse lights on and the driver of the vehicle kept tapping the brakes as if he were trying to leave the scene". Officer Rittenhouse stated, "At this time I began shining my flashlight into the vehicle in an effort to gain the driver's attention." The driver of the van continued to attempt to reverse and leave the scene. After opening the door Rittenhouse stated, "Upon doing so [I] immediately smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage". The driver, identified as Geremias Ramirez-Lopez, 28, of Dalton slowly leaned sideways in the driver's seat to turn and look at the officer. Mr. Lopez was having difficulty looking at the officer but when he did she noticed immediately the whites of his eyes to be bloodshot. The officer had Lopez exit the vehicle where she asked Mr. Lopez how much he had to drink where at first Mr. Lopez would only shake his head. Rittenhouse stated, "Upon me asking Mr. Lopez the same question in a little bit of Spanish he advised "6."" as Mr. Lopez stumbled out of the vehicle. Once out of the vehicle he had trouble standing on his feet swaying from side to side. Dalton Police Patrol Sgt. Corso was also on scene assisting with the. Both Officers were having difficulty communicating with Mr. Lopez due to the language barrier. Due to not being able to adequately explain the standard field sobriety tests to Mr. Lopez and the county not having a Spanish speaking officer standard field sobriety tests (SFST) was foregone. Lopez was placed into custody and searched by Dalton Patrol Officer Jenkins, who had also arrived on the scene. The searched of Mr, Lopez leads to a Tennessee "ID only" card with the name of "Romeo Branden Torres". A dental card along with a Cigna health/life insurance card was also found on Mr. Lopez's person with the identifying information of "Romeo Torres." A fourth ID was found with the name "Geremias Ramirez-Lopez" displayed. A Spanish speaking Booking officer explained to Mr. Lopez the implied consent law and that a draw of his blood was being requested. Mr. Lopez still agreed to take the state-administered test. Mr. Lopez was transported to Hamilton Medical to have his blood drawn. "Mr. Lopez, when questioned, advised he was a citizen of Guatemala who did not wish to have his consulate notified". Mr. Lopez was transported to the Whitfield County Jail. Once on scene at the Whitfield county jail and after booking had completed their intake process Officer Rittenhouse asked if the Spanish speaking officer could question Mr. Lopez about the Tennessee ID and insurance cards he had in his possession. Officer Rittenhouse was informed Mr. Lopez stated the picture on the Tennessee ID was his, however, the information listed on the ID was his cousin's identifying information. When asked why he was using his picture with his cousin's information listed Mr. Lopez advised it was for "Work." Mr. Lopez was charged with identity fraud, DUI less safe, and driving while unlicensed. According to the report, Mr. Lopez blew a .201 on the jail's Alco-Sensor but they did not charge him with DUI .08 or more due to them not having immediate admissible evidence stating he was a .08 or higher. Officer Rittenhouse was called back to the Jail to add charges of giving false name and date of birth after Mr. Lopez lied to the Immigration officer about his name advising his last name was Perez, not Lopez and then changing his name all together advising it was "Amilcar Mendez Chun. " There is no way for law enforcement to determine what Mr. Lopez's true identity is due to not having any prior involvement.