Allegations of driving under the influence are always a serious matter. However, the criminal justice system may impose harsher penalties on a driver alleged to have committed DUI if there was one or more vulnerable people in the car who could have gotten hurt as a result.
Authorities in Savannah arrested a 41-year-old woman who reportedly works as a senior citizen health care driver, filing multiple charges, including DUI. At the time of the arrest last Wednesday evening, the woman was reportedly transporting three elderly women to an undisclosed location.
Asleep at the wheel
Concerned motorists called law enforcement to report a vehicle parked partially in the intersection at a stoplight. The officer who reported to the scene described allegedly finding the woman asleep at the wheel with the smell of alcohol detectable.
After summoning medical personnel to the scene and determining that the driver was not experiencing a medical issue, the officer then attempted to administer field sobriety tests, which the driver refused. In addition to DUI, the woman faces charges of impeding traffic, improper reduction of speed, improper display of license plates and operating a vehicle without a tag or decal.
The driver reportedly admitted to authorities that she had been drinking. She was allegedly too intoxicated to tell law enforcement where she had been transporting the three patients. The patients themselves were unable to inform authorities of their destination or their point of origin due to mental disabilities. The most that one of the women could contribute was that she lived with a person named Donna.
Ultimately, authorities were able to reunite the patients with family members the next day. In the interim, they took the women to a local hospital where staff provided food and care overnight. There is no report of harm or injury to the patients.
Authorities listed a bond of $4,050 for the driver. She reportedly remains incarcerated at present.