DUI suspect tried to bribe cop with cash and beer, Smyrna police say

Smyrna police say a man they stopped for DUI last week tried to buy his way out of trouble, raising his offer from $200 to $400 to $400 plus beer.

No, no and no, the officer replied.

Lazaro Hernandez, 24, who allegedly tried to pass an officer who was directing traffic, smelled of alcohol and had an open Corona beer on his floor board when he was pulled over at 2 a.m. Friday on Windy Hill Road at Dixie Avenue, according to police. As he was being arrested and charged with four misdemeanors, Hernandez allegedly committed another crime. From the backseat of a patrol car, he attempted to bribe the officer to avoid arrest, police said.

Occasionally, people do try to talk their way out of tickets or arrests, Deputy Chief Robert Harvey with Smyrna police said Wednesday. But this case was out of the ordinary, Harvey told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“As I watched the video, you could faintly hear him in the backseat offering money at first,” Harvey said. “Then he wants the officer to drop it from DUI to another charge.”

Hernandez suggested the officer could drive him to a gas station so he could buy beer for him, along with $400. The officer wasn’t buying it — not the beer nor the man’s attempt to get out of trouble.

“This guy was so oblivious to reality that he continues on with it,” Harvey said. “It’s almost like an auction.”

Hernandez said Wednesday he’d had too much to drink but decided to drive home anyway. He was less than 10 miles from his Marietta home when he saw police officers, who were in the area working at a fatal crash scene.

“I don’t even remember saying that. I was just playing,” Hernandez told the AJC. “I was drunk. I woke up in jail.”

In addition to DUI, open container, reckless driving and refusing to comply with police directions, Hernandez was also charged with bribery, a felony. Since he refused field sobriety testing, his license was suspended, Harvey said.

Hernandez was booked into the Smyrna jail before being transferred to the Cobb jail, where he was released Saturday afternoon after posting $7,000 bond, according to booking records.