A woman believed to have picked up a group of students while intoxicated is facing serious charges in Sweetwater, according to local sources. Tennessee authorities arrested the woman on suspicion of drunk driving on the afternoon of May 21. She faces a DUI charge as well as four counts of felony recklessness. If she is found guilty, she could go to jail for a substantial period of time and lose her driver's license, possibly permanently.
According to officers on the scene, the woman was observed by witnesses striking a curb in a parking lot, which prompted notification of police. Officers worked in conjunction to track down the vehicle, which had departed by the time officers arrived. It was found at a local intermediate school where the woman had picked up four children ranging from ages 7 to 12. Her vehicle was tailed by detectives, who say they observed her nearly run a red light before striking another curb at some 40 mph.
Officers pulled the 32-year-old woman over, and gauged her condition as intoxicated. They noted an inability to focus and slurred speech, so they initiated roadside sobriety testing. The woman failed the tests but refused a blood test, and was arrested.
A drunk driving charge can stay with someone for a long time, and the consequences are far-reaching, influencing family, employment and more. However, it will be the province of Tennessee prosecutors to prove conclusively in criminal court the woman was indeed drunk behind the wheel when she picked up the children. In the absence of compelling evidence, such as a blood test, this could prove difficult. Her criminal defense team may take this into consideration when preparing a defense against the charges.
Source: citizentribune.com, "Driver with car full of kids charged with DUI", Michael Thomason, May 24, 2018