City Council member arrested for DUI

Published 2:34 pm Wednesday, July 20, 2016

AMERICUS — Carla Cook, a member of the Americus City Council, was arrested Sunday night and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
According to the report by the arresting officer, Deputy Joshua McClung with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, he was assisting the Georgia State Patrol with a license check at the intersection of Upper River and District Line roads. At approximately 9:30 p.m., Cook, driving a 2006 Honda Accord, approached from the east on Upper River Road. While talking with Cook, the deputy smelled a “strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her breath.” When he asked if she had consumed any alcohol, she told him that her friend, a passenger in the car, had. The deputy had Cook step out of  her  vehicle and stand in front of his patrol vehicle. While talking with her, he again smelled a strong odor of alcohol from her breath. He asked her again if she had consumed any alcohol and she said she had “a vodka drink about an hour ago.”
Cook agreed to undergo Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, according to the deputy’s report. The first test dealt with horizontal gaze during which McClung noticed some irregularities and that Cook’s eyes were “glassy.” He said he could smell alcohol on her breath throughout the test.
The next test dealt with walking and turning. The deputy reported that Cook began the test three times before she was instructed to. Again, the deputy noted irregularities. The final test dealt with the leg stand. McClung wrote that Cook lifted her left leg and began counting and “put her foot down a total of six times, and used her arms for balance.” After 13 seconds, according to the deputy, Cook stated she could not do the test.
Cook then refused to take a preliminary breath test and was handcuffed, placed under arrest for DUI and put in the backseat of the deputy’s patrol car. Cook agreed to take a blood test and while her vehicle was released to a friend, the deputy took Cook to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center where an ER nurse conducted the blood draw. Cook was then transported to the Sumter County Law Enforcement Center where she was booked. Her blood sample was placed into the evidence refrigerator in road patrol at the sheriff’s office for testing. McClung concludes that he also filed a copy of his dash cam video with his report.
Cook was released on bond, by Triple A Bonding, at 12:07 a.m. Monday.
Cook, 57, of 311 Columbia Ave., Americus represents District 4 on the city council.
— Beth Alston