SENOIA, Ga. - The Senoia Police Chief is calling it an act of courage. A daughter was so concerned for her safety and the lives of others that she would call police on her own mother. The daughter pleaded with the clerk of a convenience store to call 911 because she said her mother was driving drunk and could hurt someone.
Dash cam video from a Senoia patrol car Sunday night showed Donna Dodgen of Thomaston having difficulty, the police said, in passing a field sobriety test. The officer reported that he smelled a strong odor of alcohol on the 52-year-old woman’s breath.
Senoia police arrested Dodgen for DUI and said it would be just like any other DUI arrest in Georgia, if it were not for the fact that Donna Dodgen’s own daughter was the one who alerted police to her mother’s dangerous driving.
“To think about that, turning your own family in. That’s just not something that any of us think we would ever do,” Chief Jason Edens-Senoia Police.
Police told FOX 5 that Donna Dodgen was behind the wheel of her car, driving her 28-year-old-daughter and her 10-year-old-granddaughter Sunday night. When the three stopped at a convenience store on Highway 85 in Senoia, the 28-year-old daughter went inside and pleaded with a clerk to call 911. Police said she couldn’t drive because of a head injury from a previous automobile accident according to police.
“Went in a basically told the clerk that her mother had been drinking and was drunk, that was her words. And the way that she was driving was scared for her own safety and that of her daughter,” Edens said.
The daughter told police that other drivers had been honking their horns at them because her mother couldn’t stay in her lane.
Police charged Dodgen with DUI, endangering a child under 14 while DUI, speed under the minimum and weaving on the roadway.
The chief called their actions heroic: “I do. She could have saved her own life, her daughter’s life and anyone else on the roadway that night.”