A candidate for the Conway City Council was arrested on charges of DWI, refusal to submit to a BAC (blood alcohol content) test and careless or unsafe driving on Wednesday.
Tara Ward, 28, of Conway was arrested shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday after being pulled over on Dave Ward Drive by the University of Central Arkansas Police Department, according to a UCAPD police report. Ward is running for the Ward 4, Position 2 seat on the Conway City Council against incumbent Shelia Isby.
In his report, the officer wrote that at the intersection of Farris Road and Dave Ward Drive, Ward “turn[ed] east on Dave Ward Drive while the light was still red.”
The officer noted that Ward crossed the centerline twice before he turned on his sirens to pull her over. Ward again crossed the centerline while turning onto Clara Drive where she pulled over, the officer reported.
Ward told the officer she was trying to get her friend, who was in the passenger seat, home safe, according to his report.
“That’s the only reason why I’m doing what I’m doing right now,” she reportedly told the officer.
When the officer asked if they had been drinking, Ward said her passenger had been drinking and she also “had a few drinks,” the report stated.
The officer had Ward remove her glasses for the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) portion of the Standard Field Sobriety Test, which Ward was unable to complete.
“Ward stared at me and did not follow the stimulus with her eyes,” the officer wrote, noting that she swayed back and forth during the test. “I repeated to her what I wanted her to do and she stated once again that she understood. I attempted HGN a second time, and Ward again would not follow instructions. This time, she continually moved her head and would not follow the stimulus with her eyes and eyes only as instructed.”
During the walk-and-turn portion of the field sobriety test, Ward first attempted the test with her arms stretched out instead of by her sides as instructed, the officer said, adding that she eventually attempted to walk a straight line with her arms by her side.
“When she attempted this, she lost her balance multiple times and repeatedly raised her arms for balance,” the officer wrote. “I asked Ward if she was going to be able to stand there, to which she stated ‘I am, I just have a back brace on and it’s different than things you have done.’”
After losing her balance a few more times, Ward reportedly said, “I can’t do it.”
After the officer arrested Ward on suspicion of DWI and took her to the detention center, he said she interrupted him several times when he tried to explain her rights to her.
“While I attempted to explain these rights to Ward, she stated she was not stupid and that she would not sign any of the papers that I had,” he wrote. “I then asked her if she would take the breathalyzer test, to which she stated she would not.”
The officer said he handcuffed her left wrist while he stepped out of the booking room to complete more paperwork.
“Approximately two minutes after I stepped out, Ward began to try and slip her hand out of her handcuff,” he wrote. “She pulled and twisted around multiple times in an attempt to remove this handcuff, leaving abrasions and marks on her left wrist.”
The officer said once he returned to the area, Ward again tried to wriggle out of the cuffs and then “sat in the floor and began to cry.”
He removed the handcuffs and she was taken to Unit 2 of the Faulkner County Detention Center. She was booked at 12:57 a.m. Thursday and released on a $1,425 shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday, according to online records.
No court date was set as of press time Thursday.
The Log Cabin Democrat reached out to Ward for a comment but she had not returned a call as of press time Thursday.