An Elberton man was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) following a traffic stop last week.
Wesley Thomas Durden, 23, was charged with DUI/alcohol and failure to maintain lane.
Deputy Joe McGuffin was on patrol traveling east on Hwy. 72 West when he saw a white Toyota in front of him on the inside lane going about 47 mph in a 55 mph zone. The car swerved halfway into his lane without signaling a lane change and drove that way for a few seconds before switching back to the inside lane. The car repeated this action and then jerked back over. McGuffin then performed a traffic stop at Colbert Ace Hardware.
McGuffin approached him on the passenger side, however the driver (Durden) was trying to speak with him through the driver side window.
His eyes were red and glassy and he was messing with the navigation system on his phone, which was in his lap.
Durden said he hadn’t consumed any alcohol.
When asked to step outside the vehicle for a roadside sobriety check, he began coughing and said he had COVID-19.
McGuffin told him that was “fine” and to please step out. He exited the vehicle leaving the driver's door open and in the travel lane. McGuffin told him to shut his door. He was unsteady on his feet and almost fell when he turned around to close his door, according to the report and he continued to cough, telling McGuffin to check with the health department because he had “the COVID.”
He finally admitted that he had consumed some champagne, then said he was sick repeatedly and that McGuffin needed a mask.
McGuffin told him he was fine and maintaining a safe distance.
He kept coughing as McGuffin tried to get him to blow into an alcohol sensor and the officer reminded him that he had not coughed until he told him to get out of the car.
Durden was then charged with DUI and placed under arrest. After being handcuffed, Durden turned around and began to cough on McGuffin and was instructed to stop.
As the vehicle was being searched, Durden started yelling about his constitutional rights, saying they had been violated, “more so his first through fifth rights.”
McGuffin noted that Durden had stopped coughing and didn’t cough any more after that.
He agreed to give blood for an alcohol test but at the EMS station he said "I pled the fifth, my constitutional rights have been violated.”
McGuffin advised Durden we would take that as a refusal. He assisted Durden back to his patrol unit and transported him to the jail. At the jail he refused to follow direction from jail staff to exit the intake area and was assisted to the shower for their booking process. He continued to refuse all commands from jail staff and was placed in a chair, according to the report.
Other arrests on file at the sheriff’s office this week included:
•Defferious Melek Calhoun, 23, Elberton, probation violation.
•John Patrick Clark, 56, Danielsville, probation violation.
•David Scott Clark, Jr., 20, Jefferson, driving while license suspended or revoked, expired vehicle tag or decal, giving wrong signal, remove or affix plate to conceal vehicle identification and violation of driver’s license restrictions.
•Mark Anthony Dow, 46, Lawrenceville, probation violation.
•John Edward Greene, 53, Danielsville, criminal trespass, driving while license suspended or revoked, DUI/alcohol, felony fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, two counts of failure to drive within a single lane, two counts of reckless driving, two counts of speeding and two counts of willful obstruction of law enforcement officers.
•Joshua Nathaniel Le Hattaway, 21, Danielsville, driving without a valid license, expired vehicle tag or decal, possession and use of drug-related objects and felony theft by receiving stolen property.
•Shanterica Quantel Hughes, 22, Lawrenceville, probation violation.
•James Rodney Major, 38, Elberton, probation violation.
•Gregory Keith Marable, 56, Commerce, simple assault family violence and felony terroristic threats and acts.
•Thomas Matthrew McClain, Jr., 24, Athens, probation violation.
•Luke John Mercardante, II, 22, Hull, felony theft by taking.
•Jason Owen Nalley, 38, Stephens, probation violation and two counts of simple battery family violence.
•Rakeem Davion Robinson, 30, Hull, probation violation.
•Brandon Jacob Shields, 19, Hull, possession and use of drug-related objects.
•Brent Thomas Smith, 35, Auburn, probation violation.
•Troy Lee Wood, 40, Commerce, false imprisonment, simple battery family violence and two counts of probation violation.
•Samuel Churchill-Stinchcomb, 38, Colbert, criminal trespass family violence and simple assault family violence.
•Calvin Levenda Early, Jr., Charlotte, NC, Franklin County hold.
•Edras Moroles Escalante, 27, Atlanta, driving without a valid license and speeding.
•Hailey Nicole Henderson, 24, Danielsville, order to incarcerate.
•Henry Lee Hickman, 55, Athens, probation violation.
•Reveckyo Anwaan Hill, 35, Commerce, pandering.
•Helen Hill Jordan, 62, Canon, felony first degree burglary.
•James Matthew Papp, 29, Colbert, DUI/alcohol, endangering a child by DUI/alcohol or drugs, minor restraint law, tag light illumination required and windshields and windshield wipers.
•Emory Craig Player, 71, Danielsville, hold for other county.
•Ramya Deshaun Thomas, 20, Statham, was arrested for criminal trespass and simple battery after she reportedly broke into the Belhaven Lane home of her ex-boyfriend’s mother’s home by removing a window air conditioner from the son’s bedroom window. She then reportedly attacked her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend once inside. She was arrested by Officer Gary Floyd and taken to jail.
•Jeremy Wright Tull, 35, Danielsville, driving while license suspended or revoked.
•Perry Allen Turner, 43, Athens, adult restraint law seat belt, driving without a valid license, DUI/alcohol and failure to yield to emergency vehicle.
•Thomas Jordan Whitehead, 23, Hull, brake lights and turn signals required and driving without a valid license.