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Cheryl Cumbus

Cumbus, Cheryl

Date of Booking:

Reason(s) For Booking:




Officer’s Narrative:
[Please note: The following is a direct transcription from the official initial incident report. The Georgia Gazette does not fix any spelling or grammatical errors that may exist. Any changes or redactions made by our staff are placed inside brackets. Some errors may exist. All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The topics discussed may be sensitive to some readers. Discretion is advised.]

On the date and time listed in this report I, Officer Rachel Stearns (1107) was dispatched to the area of Hwy 441 at New High Shoals in reference to a reckless driver in a silver minivan running people off of the road and driving 10 miles per hour. I responded to the area in accordance with the mutual aid agreement with Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. No other units were available.

Upon arriving at the intersection of New High Shoals and Hwy 441 I was advised that the driver was approaching the Bishop Golden Pantry, about 3 minutes from the New High Shoals intersection. At this time I went southbound on 441 and held position at the left turn-in to south main street. Shortly after this I observed a silver minivan traveling northbound on 441 failing to maintain lane, and near missing a collision with a black pickup truck in the process. The minivan was driving significantly under the speed limit (estimated at 10-15mph) based off of my tracking history.

After the minivan went past me, I turned on my emergency lights on my marked unit and proceeded behind the vehicle. The vehicle failed to stop at a red traffic light and continued through the New High Shoals/Hwy 441 intersection at a higher speed (approximately 40mph) . I turned on my siren and proceeded through the intersection using due regard. I was able to catch up with the silver minivan shortly past the intersection and drove directly behind it for approximately 1/2 of a mile with lights and sirens. The vehicle failed to stop initially, then came to an abrupt stop just before the exit for Experiment Station Road on 441. It was at this time that Watkinsville Deputy Chief Tetterton (1101) and Chief Brock (1100) arrived to my location.

Deputy Chief Tetterton approached the vehicle from the passenger side and I approached from the drivers side as we made contact with the driver, later identified as Cheryl Cumbus. Mrs. Cumbus was ordered to place the vehicle in park and after a couple of moments was able to do so. She was then instructed to step out of the vehicle and walk towards my marked unit. Upon stepping out of the vehicle I detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from her and asked if she had anything to drink, she advised she had not. She stumbled several times on the way to my patrol car and was moving from left to right in an unsteady manner.

I then asked if she had taken anything or had any medical conditions we needed to know about, and she advised she did not. It was determined that field sobriety would not be a feasible option due to safety concerns with her stumbling and the heavy traffic conditions on the highway at the time (just after schools were released for the day). I performed a pat down to check for weapons and informed her that she was being detained at this time. For her safety as well as mine I placed her in handcuffs, checking for fit and double locking, and placed her in the back of my patrol car while I conducted my investigation.

Deputy Chief Tetterton was able to move her vehicle out of the roadway, onto the right-hand shoulder of the highway and I moved my patrol car directly behind it. During PC (probable cause) search of the vehicle an empty can of wine was located in the center console and an empty carton of wine was located in the top portion of a purse sitting next to Mrs. Cumbus. The empty can was still cool to the touch. I then read Mrs. Cumbus her miranda rights and asked if she would consent to a portable breath test and she agreed.

The test came back positive for the presence of alcohol (0.31). At this time I asked one final time if she had anything containing alcohol to drink and she admitted to having “one drink”. She was then asked when she had last drank and she said “earlier today”. I read implied consent to her and asked if she would consent to a blood test and she agreed to that as well. I notified her that at this time she was under arrest for driving under the influence.

Next list (HPC Towing) was requested for her vehicle and the vehicle was left with 1101 and 1100. I went enroute to St. Mary’s hospital for the blood draw and on the way stopped at the Watkinsville Police Department to pick up a blood test kit. Upon arrival at the hospital I assisted Mrs. Cumbus out of the car and into the emergency department. She again stumbled several times and appeared unsteady on her feet. I had her sit down in a chair while the hospital staff got her registered, in order to avoid her falling or injuring herself. After being registered we were walked back to the lab by a nurse where the blood was drawn and sealed in the test kit box.

Upon exit of the hospital Mrs. Cumbus was placed back in the rear seat of my patrol car. I printed her charging documents and transported her to the Oconee County Jail. Arrival time was approximately 1700 hours. After releasing her to the jail staff I transported her belongings to the Watkinsville Police Department and placed them in temporary storage locker 7. I bagged up the evidence (empty can and empty carton of wine) and placed it in temporary locker number 2. I then printed her remaining citations, filled out a 1205 and1205s form (DDS license suspension for DUI with results pending) and provided her with a temporary driving permit attached to her copy of the DUI citation.

I returned to the jail and made her aware that I would be taking possession of her license and the temporary permit would serve as her license until her ALS hearing. I served her with the ALS (administrative license suspension) form and advised on the appeal/hearing process.

Her husband [REDACTED] bonded her out on the evening of 04/22/2023 with a cash bond of $1981. They are aware she must appear for court on 06/12/23.

[End of Narrative]