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Posted: June 17, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Drunk driver arrested after swerving on I-20

A startled driver contacted authorities in the early morning hours after nearly being struck by a Monte Carlo while traveling east on Interstate 20.

According to reports, the driver told dispatch that the Monte Carlo was traveling around 70 m.p.h., swerving all over the interstate and continuing to cross the lines into other lanes. Deputies from the Newton County Sheriff’s office located the vehicle and activated their emergency equipment. The driver got off the interstate and turned into the parking lot of K-Mart, in front of Blockbuster Video, where he stopped his car.

As deputies approached the vehicle, they reportedly noticed three men inside, and as a deputy made his way to the driver’s side window, he allegedly began to smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from the inside the vehicle. The driver, identified as Terry Smith, was asked to turn the vehicle off and step out of it and he reportedly complied, hopping out of the vehicle and reportedly walking unsteadily to the rear of the vehicle.

Smith was asked if he had anything to drink, and he reportedly told the deputies that he’d had two drinks an hour before being pulled over. He also was attempting to tell the deputy that he and his friends were coming from somewhere, but according to reports the deputy was unable to understand due to his slurred speech.

When asked if he would recite his alphabet from A to K, Smith reportedly mumbled, "You could let me go, you know I had a few drinks, you know me man, just let me go." When asked by the deputy how he knew him, Smith allegedly just looked at him. He also reportedly said, "Man, you can tow my vehicle and let me," then stopped abruptly and said, "A to K, right?" The deputy said that was correct and Smith allegedly began singing his alphabet, from A to K "sounding upset."

When he finished, he reportedly asked the deputy if he could walk home. The deputy ignored his request and asked Smith to count from 20 to 8 backward by 2s, giving him an example first. Smith reportedly said that he could but just put his fingers up and said "20… 20… 20…" moving his fingers around for approximately one minute, according to reports, before looking at the deputy and allegedly telling him that he could not complete the test. When asked if he had finished school, Smith reportedly told the deputy he had not.

Smith allegedly agreed to perform more sobriety tests and made his way to an area lit well by the patrol vehicle’s headlights. The deputy noted in his report that Smith had bloodshot watery eyes and that his clothing was unkempt and reeked of alcohol.

According to reports, Smith was unable to complete several more tests, even after being given examples. He allegedly agreed to a breath test and blew a .207. Smith was arrested and transported to the Newton County Detention Center where he was charged with DUI, failure to signal and failure to maintain lane.

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