According to a Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office incident report, On December 20th, 2022, at 11:45 PM, Deputy A. Garmany, Deputy J. Smith, and Cpl. C. Fielding was in the area of Lyerly Dam Road at Starling Mill Road, conducting a DUI checkpoint. Deputy Garmany reported, “While conducting the checkpoint, [I] noticed a White in a color single cab pickup truck traveling on Lyerly Dam Road westbound towards the checkpoint. When the pickup truck got to the bottom of the hill close to the checkpoint, I noticed the pickup truck stop in the middle of the roadway, and the reverse lights came on. The vehicle backed into a driveway turned around, and began traveling in the direction in which the pickup truck came from in the event of trying to avoid the checkpoint.” Deputy Garmany conducted a traffic stop on the pickup truck and made contact with the driver, later identified as James Dayton Hewitt, 20, of Trion. Hewitt advised that he didn’t have his license on him. While speaking with Hewitt, Deputy Garmany detected the strong odor of alcoholic beverages upon his breath. He also noticed Hewitt’s eyes to be bloodshot and drooping and his speech to be very slurred. Deputy Garmany reported, “While [I] was awaiting for the returned [I] noticed Mr. Hewitt’s vehicle back tires to have no tread and wires showing on both back tires [I] also noticed that Mr. Hewitt’s vehicle registration sticker was showing December 2022. Chattooga County E911 was advised that Mr. Hewitt’s registration was showing Expired on December 11th, 2022. [I] approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and asked Mr. Hewitt to step out of the vehicle. Upon Mr. Hewitt exiting the vehicle, [I] noticed that he was unsteady on his feet. [I] asked Mr. Hewitt if he had anything to drink tonight, and Mr. Hewitt replied no.” During standardized field sobriety tests, Hewitt showed several signs of impairment and showed a BAC of .150 on a PBT. Deputy Garmany then placed Mr. Hewitt into custody and read him the Georgia Implied Consent Notice for DUI Suspects under the age of 21 and asked Mr. Hewitt for a blood sample, and Mr. Hewitt Refused. Hewitt was transported to the Chattooga County Jail charged with defective tires, DUI alcohol 21 under, driving without a valid license, unregistered vehicle, and underage possession of alcohol. According to Chattooga County Sheriff”s Office reports, on November 17th, 2022, Hewitt was also arrested for DUI after being stopped for speeding in Summerville.
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