From Conway Police Department reports
Car go swerve
Let’s not kid ourselves. It’s just after 2 a.m. and a car swerves across a lane. The outcome - for regular readers of this space - has some predictability. Still: The officer reported being out on patrol the morning of Jan. 6 when his suspicion was aroused.
Traveling down Markham the officer saw a car, a red Mustang going in the opposite direction, drift into his lane, then, thankfully, back out, but then then in, then out. The car was able to not be in the officer’s lane as he passed it. He, of course, made a U turn and got behind it.
As he followed, the car was still doing a not-great job of staying in its lane. It signaled a turn onto Van Ronkle, but the turn signal came on three blocks before the turn. Then the car didn’t come to a complete stop at the stop sign. Thus the cold morning was interrupted by blue lights, and the Mustang was pulled over for further investigation.
He spoke with the driver, the only person in the car, a 25 year old woman. She avoided eye contact, he reported, and slurred her speech. And, in the least surprising sentence in this write up, the officer noted the “odor of intoxicants” from the cabin of the Mustang. A second officer arrived to assist.
She had not, she told the officer, responding to his question, been drinking. She was on her way home, she said.
The officer had the woman get out of the car and step to the front of his car. She stumbled and almost fell getting out, catching herself on the door before completely tipping over. The woman had some very real trouble maneuvering to the front of the officer’s car, but, finally, made it.
And sure, then the field sobriety test began. Try to guess how, at 2 a.m. having been the pilot of a swerving car - almost falling while getting out - the “odor of intoxicants,” how that went.
Her eyes flickered, as did her balance, both at least as fleeting as her ability to follow the instructions from the officer. She gave, in the relative language of police reports, a number of clues. At the culmination of this she was put in handcuffs for the ride downtown. The tow truck was called to impound her car.
At the police station the woman admitted to having had some alcohol in the course of the evening, one double-shot cocktail and a beer and, adding to that, a “little bit” beforehand. The little bit, it turned out as the officer pressed her, two whiskey and soda drinks.
She was again give the field sobriety test in the more controlled environment of the police station. Really, it didn’t go any better, walking, turning and balancing being something not capable in the relative long term.
Then the breath test. The woman, 5 foot 7 inches, 160 pounds, blew a 0.19 BAC. At her request, and acknowledging it was at her expense, she was taken to the hospital, there given a blood test.
Then she was taken to jail, charged with DWI first offense.
(The Ford Mustang was first introduced to the American public in 1962 as a show car, to gauge public interest. It was successful, and was offered by Ford dealers in 1964. It was the swoopier, sportier body over the economy-car Ford Falcon driveline. It was a significant success for Ford, being that marque’s most successful introduction since the Ford Model A. It was such a success that most people think of it as the first sports “Pony Car” produced by Detroit automakers. This is not true, as the Plymouth Barracuda, itself a sporty body built on the economy car Plymouth Valiant driveline, was introduced two weeks earlier in 1964.)