A Newton High School language arts teacher was arrested Saturday night in Rockdale on charges of DUI and cocaine possession.
Kathern Laura Green, 36, was stopped by Rockdale Sheriff's Office deputies who noticed her driving too fast in Olde Town Conyers, according to reports. After following Green's vehicle on Sigman Road and onto Ga. Highway 138, officers noticed her driving erratically and watched as she veered off the roadway with both the front and rear passenger side tires and then crossed the center lane. Deputies eventually stopped Green's Ford Explorer on Centennial Olympic Parkway at Keswick Village Apartments.
When deputies approached and asked Green if she knew why they stopped her she reportedly said she "spilt her pencil and bottle" which was her reason for not maintaining her lane on 138. She then told deputies she had been at a friend's house in Olde Town. Deputies noted in their reports that Green smelled slightly of alcohol and had glassy eyes and slurred speech. She reportedly told deputies, "It's not like I was drunk or anything," without any sort of prompting and when asked if she'd been drinking said, "No, not really."
Green was asked to step out of her SUV so she could perform sobriety tests. Reports indicated that she was lethargic and had to hold onto the door for balance and that once she was at the rear of the vehicle she had to lean on the vehicle to support herself. When she did step away from it she swayed slightly while standing in front of deputies, according to reports.
Deputies asked once more where she was coming from and she told them she had been at a friend's house and then went to the Whistle Post Tavern to hang out. She allegedly said she had started to have a drink there but had stopped herself. She then changed her story and told them she'd had one glass of wine and that she had spilled it on her pants.
When asked if she would take the sobriety tests she initially refused and reportedly told deputies she was not drunk, but was tired and wanted to go home. She then said, "This is all because of a damn Sprite bottle," before consenting to the tests, according to reports.
During the gaze test she lost focus on the pen tip the deputy was holding twice and kept looking instead at the deputy. Then on the step and turn test she reportedly missed heel to toe, stepped off the line and raised her arms for balance before reportedly saying, "You said a series of steps?" The one leg stand test was aborted because she allegedly told deputies she had medical issues that caused pain in her hips, legs and ankles, and that she also had back issues.
Deputies attempted to administer a breath test but Green allegedly kept placing her tongue on the opening of the tube and wouldn't give a complete sample. Eventually deputies were able to get a reading of .143 (the legal limit is Georgia is .08).
Green was told that she was being arrested and that her vehicle would be towed. Deputies told her to get her purse out of the vehicle and she reportedly said that she would just leave it in her SUV. Eventually deputies, uncomfortable to having her purse in the vehicle at a tow yard, retrieved the purse for her. While doing so they noticed a blue plastic cup in the center console about quarter full with was appeared to be red wine.
Deputies searched Green's purse since it would be entering the jail with her and reportedly found a small plastic bag tied in a knot. Inside was a substance that later tested positive for cocaine. Green refused to speak with deputies at that time.
She was transported to the Rockdale County Jail and booked in on charges of DUI, possession of cocaine, failure to maintain lane and open container.
Newton County School System Director of Public Relations Sherri Davis-Viniard said that the school system had just found out about the incident and they were conducting an investigation.
Green is still listed on the NHS staff directory and according to Open Georgia, she is a high school grades teacher who made $43,757.72 in 2011.