Unlicensed drunk driver arrested after leaving scene of crash in Dalton

According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, On January 14th, 2023, at 11:20 PM, Officer Warren responded to the area of 1822 Dug Gap Road in reference to a hit-and-run that occurred. The victim stated that the vehicle that struck his vehicle was parked at a gas station further down Dug Gap Road and that the driver was asleep in the parking lot. He described the suspect vehicle as an older Model Chevrolet truck. Officer Warren then located the blue Chevrolet S10 parked in the parking lot next to the air pumps. Officer Warren reported, “As [I] approached the driver side window, [I] could see the driver, later identified as Juan Carlos Menchaca, 50, of Dalton, was asleep in the driver seat. Through the window, [I] could see an open case of Budweiser beer and Budweiser beer cans on the floorboard. [I] then tapped on the driver-side window. Juan then woke up, and [I] asked him to exit the vehicle. As Juan stepped out of the vehicle, [I] could smell the strong and distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person. [I] asked Juan to step back towards the bed of the truck. Juan then proceeded to turn his back to me and put both hands on the vehicle. [I] asked Juan to turn around so [I] could speak with him. When he took his hands off the truck, Juan lost his balance and swayed to his left.” Juan stated he was just trying to get some gas. The officer asked him if he knew that he had pulled down to the air pumps and not the gas pumps. He stated that he did not know that he did. Juan’s speech was slurred, and his eyes were visibly glazed over. Officer Morang told Juan he had been involved in a car accident and that he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Juan then replied, “Y’all really gonna bust me for that?” Officer Warren reported, “[I] then asked Juan how much he had to drink. He replied, “Not enough”.” Juan refused field sobriety tests and was then placed under arrest for DUI. Officer located damage on Juan’s truck that matched the damage on the victim’s vehicle. Officers also learned that Juan shouldn’t have been driving anyways because he didn’t have a valid license. Juan was booked into the Whitfield County Jail, charged with DUI/less safe, leaving the scene of an accident, open container violation, and driving while unlicensed.

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