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Mayport Woman Faces Child Endangerment, DUI Charges After Allegedly Driving Drunk with Child in Vehicle
According to court documents, the New Bethlehem Borough Police Department filed the following criminal charges against 29-year-old Joann Ellen Smith, of Mayport:
- Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Misdemeanor 1
- DUI: General Impairment/Incapable of Driving Safely – 1st Offense, Misdemeanor
- DUI: High Rate of Alcohol (Bac.10 – <.16) 1st Offense, Misdemeanor
- Reckless Driving, Summary
- Operate Vehicle Without Valid Inspect, Summary
According to a criminal complaint, Officer Clark, of the New Bethlehem Borough Police Department, was dispatched to a residence on State Route 28 in Mayport, Redbank Township, Clarion County, for an active domestic incident and endangerment of children.
At the scene, Officer Clark made contact with a known individual who said Joann Smith had been driving intoxicated with her child in the vehicle. The individual then saw a vehicle traveling north on State Route 28 and said, “That’s her, she’s drunk.”
Officer Clark observed the vehicle driving over the double yellow lines in the oncoming traffic lane before stopping in the parking area of the residence. Joann Smith then exited the vehicle with her child in her arms while stumbling.
Smith explained that she and the known individual were arguing earlier and the child had fallen down the stairs.
Smith gave the child to the known individual and allegedly explained that “she did not take the child to the hospital because he had fallen asleep and her friend needed a ride from a bar in town,” according to the complaint.
Officer Clark requested EMS to the scene to check on the child who was crying, bent over holding his stomach. The child was transported to Clarion Hospital Emergency Room.
The complaint notes that Smith had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person.
According to the complaint, Smith admitted to drinking and agreed to undergo field sobriety testing and to a portable breath test.
During the field sobriety testing, she exhibited signs of intoxication. The portable breath test was positive for the presence of alcohol at .138%.
Smith was then placed under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence and transported to the Clarion Hospital Emergency Room for a blood test.
Smith was released to her stepfather. She was told that she would be receiving charges by mail.
The complaint notes the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Forensic Service analyzed Smith’s blood and her blood alcohol content to be .138%.
Charges were filed on Thursday, October 4, in Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey C. Miller’s office.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Monday, October 22, with Judge Miller presiding.
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