Intoxicated Driver Not Charged Because of Expired Blood Test Kits

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Richmond Hill, GA – On November 22, 2019, Ernestine Williams of the 2400 block of Colorado Trail SW in Atlanta, GA, was pulled over for driving 100mph in a 70mph zone. Upon making contact, Richmond Hill Police Officer Jonathan Zirpolo noticed a juvenile sitting in the rear of the vehicle, not properly secured with the harness restraint.

Upon further investigation, Officer Zirpolo made the determination that Williams was also driving under the influence of alcohol, and she was subsequently arrested for DUI.

However, after discovering at the police station that all of the blood test kits were expired, that charge was removed. It is unclear if these kits are managed by police or EMS.

Williams was charged with Reckless Driving, Speeding, Safety Restraint Violation, and Failing to Signal When Changing Lanes. She was then given a courtesy ride to Travelodge and released to appear.

The following was copied directly from a police report filed by the Richmond Hill Police Department. Please allow for any human error that may have occurred during the transcription.

Begin Report Transcription

On 11-21-19 at around 2300 hours, I was monitoring traffic on GA 405 near mile marker 86. I noticed a silver sedan traveling South in the right lane at a speed much higher than the posted speed limit. I activated the rear antenna of my radar unit (Kustom RP-1 Ser#RP03636) and obtained a target speed of 100 mph in a 70 mph zone. I had a 3-5 second tracking history on the vehicle with clear tones coming from the radar unit.

In catching up to the vehicle, I noticed the vehicle had transitioned from the right lane to the left lane and then back to the middle lane without signaling. A traffic stop was conducted near mile marker 85.

I made contact with the driver, Mrs. Williams and explained my observations. While speaking with her, I noticed that her speech was slurred and repetitive. There was also a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle. I also noticed a small juvenile sitting in a child seat in the back seat that was not properly secured with the harness restraint I then had Mrs. Williams step out of the vehicle where I enquired if she had consumed any alcoholic beverages. She answered in the negative but I was still able to detect an odor of alcoholic beverage that was coming from her breath.

I asked if she would submit to a preliminary breath test to which she agreed. I was able to obtain a partial breath sample in the preliminary breath test which showed positive for ethyl alcohol.

Mrs. Williams was subsequently arrested for DUI. Her hands were secured in handcuffs that were properly affixed to the rear, double locked and checked for fit. She was read the GA Implied Consent Notice with a blood test being requested. Mrs. Williams agreed to the blood test.

There were two elderly women in the vehicle who both indicated that they did not possess a valid license. They were given a courtesy ride to the Travellodge along with the listed juvenile by 1SG Acosta. Sapp’s wrecker service arrived on scene a short time later and impounded the vehicle. OFC. Dukes transported Mrs. Williams to the police department to meet with EMS for the blood test.

While en route to the police department for the blood test, I was advised by 1SG Acosta that the two elderly women were not familiar with how to administer the juveniles medicine or how to operate her medical device (nebulizer). Also, they were not able to get a hotel room as neither of them possessed an ID card.

Once at the police department, I discovered that all the blood tests kits were expired so a blood test was not administered. Mrs. Williams was subsequently cited for Reckless Driving, Speeding, Safety Restraint violation, and Failure to Signal While Changing Lanes. She was then given a courtesy ride to the Travellodge and released to appear.

End Report Transcription

After moving to Richmond Hill, GA in the fall of 2018, Matt wanted to become immediately involved in the community. Without hesitation, he created the Richmond Hill Community Facebook group which reached 2,700 members in just 5 months. After building this community, he decided they needed an honest, reliable news source to keep them informed. Thus, Richmond Hill 411 was born!

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