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Covington woman who claimed she doesn't drink charged with DUI

COVINGTON — A Covington woman who initially claimed she did not drink alcohol became belligerent when police attempted to administer a sobriety test after they found several empty liquor bottles in the front seat of her car.

Just before 7 p.m. Sunday, Covington Police Department Officer Brandon Wilkerson pulled over the car driven by Rita Hammonds, 50, of 8105 Lakeview Drive in the area of Flat Shoals Road and Sunny Drive because she was driving in the dark without headlights on.

Hammonds showed the officer her drivers license, but when Wilkerson asked for proof of insurance, she handed him a receipt for a storage unit, the report states.

“I was able to smell an odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle while speaking with her at that time,” Wilkerson said. “I asked Hammonds how much she had to drink tonight and she stated that she does not drink.”

At first the woman told the officer that she was going to visit a friend and then she changed her story and said she was going to a relative’s house on Lakeview Drive, according to the report. Wilkerson pointed out that Lakeview Drive was in the opposite direction, so Hammonds “began to get upset and changed her story again,” the report states.

At this point, the officer asked Hammonds to step out of her vehicle, at which time the odor of alcohol became even stronger.

“I asked Hammonds again how much she had to drink and she said a couple of margaritas early today,” Wilkerson said.

The officer then administered a series of field sobriety tests, but Hammonds became “argumentative” about the alphabet test and “began saying random letters of the alphabet but not in the order asked,” he stated.

After placing her under arrest, Wilkerson searched Hammonds’ car and found four 50 ml bottles of gin in the front passenger seat. All four bottles were empty, he stated.

Hammonds was transported to the Newton County Law Enforcement Center where the first breath test registered .217. When officers attempted to get a second sample, she began “yelling and cursing,” Wilkerson reported.

“Hammonds refused to blow into the machine again and continued to yell and curse at the officers in the room,” he stated.

Hammonds was charged with DUI and driving with no headlights.