Tunnel Hill man arrested on the first two days of 2020 for DUI in Whitfield County
According to two incident reports obtained from the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, January 1st, 2020, around 2:44 PM Whitfield County Deputy Fernandez responded to 2709 Chattanooga Road (Food Lion parking lot) in reference to a male in a red Honda civic that appeared to be passed. Once Deputy Fernandez arrived, he located a car matching the vehicle and tag description. Deputy Fernandez noticed the car was on, and there was a male in the driver's seat who appeared asleep. Deputy Fernandez knocked on the window and woke up the male who stared at Deputy Fernandez then looked around as if he were confused. At this time, Deputy Meadors, who was off-duty, arrived and stood by for officer safety. Deputy Fernandez motioned the male, later identified as Christopher Henry Johnson, 48, of Tunnel Hill to roll the window down. Deputy Fernandez observed Johnson look around and messed with the radio's volume button then pressed the car's emblem on the steering wheel before finally opening the vehicle's door. Deputy Fernandez immediately noticed the odor of alcoholic beverages emitting from the vehicle. Johnson stated that he was just sleeping. Deputy Fernandez asked Johnson for his driver's license; instead, he pulled out his key fob and handed it over. Deputy Fernandez advised him that it was his keys and again asked for his license. Mr. Johnson replied, "yes, that's it." Deputy Fernandez told Mr. Johnson that it wasn't his license, and again he replied, "that's it." Deputy Fernandez shook the key fob and asked, "this is your license?" to which he replied, "yes." Deputy Fernandez then proceeded to try and get Johnson's information another way. Johnson replied, "just let me go home". Johnson advised Deputy Fernandez that he was not under the influence after being asked if he was. Deputy Fernandez asked him if he thought he was good to drive, and he stated yes. Johnson replied with something along the lines of "can I just call my mom to get me." when asked if he would perform some sobriety test. Johnson was hard to understand due to his slurred speech and stated that he would prove that he was good. After Johnson stepped out of the vehicle, he stated, "don't do this to me." Johnson was having trouble standing and got frustrated when instructions were repeated. Deputy Fernandez proceeded to check for Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus but Johnson was not tracking with his eyes. After a couple of passes, Johnson stated, "bro, it's not working." Deputy Fernandez kept trying to get Johnson to track his pen with his eyes but was unsuccessful. Deputy Fernandez then began giving the instructions to proceed to the walk and turn. Johnson was unable to maintain still with his feet together and arms down by his side. Deputy Fernandez attempted to demonstrate the steps, but Johnson would look in a different direction. At one point, Johnson stated, "just arrest me." But when asked what he meant, he stated it didn't matter. Deputy Fernandez continued to explain the instructions to the walk and turn, and at times Mr. Johnson got in the correct position but would slowly lunge forward as if he was going to fall. Deputy Fernandez determined that Mr. Johnson was unable to complete field sobriety tests due to his level of impairment. Deputy Fernandez placed Johnson in custody and was read implied consent, where he agreed to submit to a chemical test of his blood. Inside the vehicle, Deputy Fernandez located a ten pack of Smirnoff 100 proof Vodka 50Ml bottles. The pack only contained 5 of the 10 50 ML bottles. Once at the Whitfield County Jail sally port Deputy Fernandez opened the door where he noticed Johnson had thrown up. Deputy Fernandez grabbed Johnson him by a clean part of his sweatshirt in order to help him out. Johnson said, "bro seriously, I'm drunk." Booking officers had Johnson blow in the Alco sensor where he registered a .302 in the Alco sensor. Johnson was charged with DUI. On the next day, Thursday, January, 2nd 2020, around 2:22 PM, Whitfield County Sheriff's Deputy Meadors was dispatched to the 2700 block of Reed Road to a possible DUI. Dispatch advised a female caller stated a driver of a red in color Honda Civic was driving all over the roadway and was now stopped in the roadway in the Northbound lane facing Southbound. Sgt. Meadors observed a red Honda Civic being driven by Christopher Johnson with the motor running facing Southbound in the Northbound lane of travel. Deputy Meadors recognized the driver as Johnson, who Deputy Fernandez had arrested the day earlier in the parking lot of the Food Lion in Rocky Face for DUI. As stated in the report above Deputy Meadors was not on duty at the time but stopped to check on Deputy Fernandez. Deputy Meadors could smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from Johnson person. When Deputy Meadors asked Johnson to place his vehicle in park beaucse he couldn't find the brake. Deputy Meadors had to release Johnson's safety belt due to him being able to find the button. When Johnson final got out his vehicle, he was so unstable on his feet he almost fell into Deputy Meadors. When asked if he would do some Standardized Field Sobriety test, Johnson stated "YES". Due to Johnson's level of intoxication and that he could not stand without someone helping him, no tests were performed. Johnson placed under arrest for DUI. Johnson was read Georgia Implied Consent Notice by Deputy Meadors, at which time he refused to take any other tests. Deputies found five small bottles of Smirnoff Root Beer Vodka, and two bottles of Fireball cinnamon whiskey all where unopened lying on the passenger front floor. Johnson was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, where Johnson said he needed help, and please forgive him and release him. Johnson had to be helped into the booking area. Johnson was asked by booking officers if he would blow through the alco sensor he stated "NO". Johnson was written citations for DUI less safe 2nd, failure to maintain lane, and vehicles to drive on the right side of roadways. Deputy Meadors filled out and ALS form and was going to have Johnson sign the form, but he was passed out in the holding cell and would not wake up. Deputy Meadors could not find Johnson's driver's license so they could not be turned in with his ALS form. According to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training records, Johnson is a former police officer serving several different agencies. Including the city of Dalton, where he served with the department for more than 20 years before becoming a city of Varnell reserve officer and Dalton State College police officer. Johnson was charged by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office back in 2014 with a misdemeanor count of family violence battery (first offense) and has several arrests for DUI since then.