Rome man arrested for DUI after driving drunk to gas station to get beer in Floyd County

According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, On January 14th, 2023, at 12:47 AM, Officer Tetsworth, along with Officer Tucker, were patrolling the area of Hwy 101 and Zona Kay Cir. They were sitting at a gas station watching vehicles when the driver and passenger of a 2008 silver Chevrolet Silverado caught our attention. Officer Tetsworth reported, “The driver (later identified as Melvin Theodore Thrift, 41, of Rome) stumbled walking into the store, and came out with a case of beer which he threw in the bed of the truck; the passenger (later identified as Keith Bradford) followed shortly after in a similar state. They sat in the truck for a few minutes before backing up across the parking lot and nearly into the highway. They pulled forward slowly to the other side of the parking lot and then sat there for a couple of minutes, just waiting for what we assumed was traffic; there was no traffic in sight. When Mr. Thrift pulled out in the truck, we pulled up behind him and observed that his driver-side taillight and tag lights were out. When pulling onto the highway, Mr. Thrift also swerved into the oncoming lane of travel. [I] then activated the blue lights of my patrol vehicle and initiated a traffic stop.” Officers made contact with Thrift, who admitted to drinking 2-3 beers before driving. Officer Tucker ran Thrift’s license, which showed he had a suspended license for DUI. Officer Tetsworth reported, “[I] asked Mr. Thrift how much he had to drink. Mr. Thrift said he had had 5-6 beers and that he was actually the designated driver of Mr. Bradford. While speaking to Mr. Thrift, [I] detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage. Mr. Thrift’s eyes were bloodshot, his balance unstable (he had to keep propping himself up on the truck), his speech slurred, and his eyelids were droopy. [I] asked Mr. Thrift if he would be willing to perform some standardized field sobriety tests. Mr. Thrift stated that there was no point because he was going to fail them all. [I] asked Mr. Thrift if he could just humor me, and he agreed.” Thrift showed several signs of impairment Thrift was placed under arrest for DUI and agreed to the state test. Thrift was then transported to the Floyd County Jail, where he was booked.

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