Resaca man arrested for DUI after nearly colliding with Dalton Patrol vehicle Saturday night
According to a Dalton Police incident report on Saturday, December 14th, 2019 around 11:23 PM, Dalton Police Officer Avila and Morang were patrolling the area of West Walnut Avenue. Officer Morang stated "[I] was traveling eastbound on West Walnut Avenue in the outside lane just east of Dug Gap Road when a white Toyota pickup truck, attempted to change from the inside lane to the outside lane while traveling right next to me". He noticed the male driver before he began to change lanes and watched him as he attempted to change lanes into his lane of travel. The officer noticed the driver didn't even look to his right or make sure the lane was clear. The driver didn't engage his turn signal until he had already crossed the line. Officer Morang stated, "As the suspect vehicle came towards my patrol vehicle [I] braked, swerved, and engaged my siren to alert the suspect driver of the collision he was about to cause". The suspect driver then jerked the wheel to move his vehicle back into the inside lane he was originally traveling in. The officer engaged his emergency blue lights and initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle. The suspect driver pulled into the center turn lane and stopped. Officer Avila approached from the passenger side and arrived first to the vehicle where she advised the driver identified as Thad Johnson Baldwin Jr., 35, of Resaca was not wearing his seatbelt. Baldwin stated that he went to change lanes and the officer was "Just right there." The Officer explained the traffic violations that Baldwin had committed. Officer Morang stated, "As [I] was speaking with Baldwin [I] noticed his truck bed was full of empty beer cans and [I] also noticed that there were approximately 5 bud light beer containers inside the vehicle next to Baldwin in the passenger seat". Officer Morang then asked Baldwin how much he had to drink in which he stated one beer. Baldwin told officers he was coming from The Oyster Pub. Officers noticed another open beer container setting next to Baldwins's right leg. Officers noticed a smell of an alcoholic beverage from Baldwin and also noticed that his eyes appeared to be glassy along with his questions being slightly delayed. Officers asked Baldwin if he would do some field sobriety test which he agreed. During the tests, Officer Morang witnessed several indicating clues that Baldwin was intoxicated including having trouble standing, unable to balance, not following instructions and eyes.
After conducting field sobriety, Officer Morang asked Baldwin to submit to a breath sample on his department-issued portable Alco-Sensor. Baldwin gave. breath sample which tested positive for alcohol at a BrAC level of 0.148 grams. Once officers Baldwin secured in the rear of the patrol vehicle, they read him Georgia's Implied Consent. Baldwin advised that he would submit to a state-administered chemical test of his breath. Baldwin advised that officers that he had been arrested for DUI before. Baldwin was not charged with driving with open containers due to them to all of the containers being empty and appearing to be old. Baldwin was transported to the Whitfield County Jail officer Pugh conducted the state-administered chemical breathe test where Baldwin tested at a breath alcohol level of 0.126 grams. Baldwin was booked into the Whitfield County jail charged on citations with improper lane change/usage, no seatbelt, failure to use turn signal while changing lanes, and DUI - alcohol 0.08 grams or more