Woman accused of DUI flips vehicle on Hwy. 316 Thursday evening

A 24-year-old Athens woman accused of driving under the influence suffered minor injuries after losing control of and flipping her vehicle on Ga. Highway 316 in Dacula Thursday evening.

Shortly before 6 p.m., Gwinnett County police officers responded to the single-vehicle wreck, which occurred near Sugarloaf Parkway, after receiving several 911 calls about a reckless driver whose 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee had overturned.

When officers arrived, they found Erika Paulino trapped in the vehicle, though they were able to get her out, according to an accident report.

Witnesses told officers they saw Paulino cross several lanes of traffic before flipping her vehicle and that she was “driving in and out of cars and cutting people off,” the report said.

One of the witnesses told the Daily Post the accident “looked like a movie set.”

“An SUV with one headlight out was speeding past me in the left lane and then (the driver) lost control of the SUV,” the witness said. “The driver swerved in the median, slinging dirt everywhere and tried to get control of the SUV. She (turned) onto the road and then crossed over the 316 lanes (in) a half-moon (shape) and ran into the ditch/embankment, flipping the SUV over on its side.”

Gwinnett fire treated a hysterical Paulino on-scene before transporting her to Gwinnett Medical Center, where she was “less than cooperative.”

Hospital staff and police both noticed “the smell of an alcoholic beverage” coming from Paulino, the report said, and based on witness statements and tire marks and in speaking to Paulino, that she was at fault for the accident and charged her with reckless driving, failure to maintain lane and driving under the influence.

She was released to the hospital for further treatment.

Crime Reporter

Isabel is a crime and health reporter for the Gwinnett Daily Post. She graduated from Emory University in 2016 with a B.A. in international studies. She is originally from the Boston area.