Peru, IN – Indiana State Police Trooper Abby Russell arrested sixty-seven-year-old Sandra Jones of Peru on a charge of Operating While Intoxicated at the Woodland Hills Trailer Park at approximately 10:48 p.m. on Saturday, September 14, 2019 after it was reported that she drove her vehicle into the side of a trailer and then got out and laid down in the roadway for several minutes.
According to an Indiana State Police Arrest Report, at approximately 10:20 p.m. a driver traveling southbound on US Route 31 reported they were following an SUV driving erratically. The caller reported the SUV’s license plate and advised officers that it had turned into the Woodland Hills Mobile Home Park.
At approximately 10:23 p.m., a resident of the Woodland Hills Mobile Home Park reported that a silver in color SUV had crashed into the side of a trailer then backed up and parked. The driver then got out of the vehicle and laid down in the roadway for several minutes. The caller then reported that the driver of the SUV got up and sat on the front porch of the trailer that had been hit.
Trooper Russell arrived on scene at approximately 10:30 p.m., where she found a woman, later identified as Sandra Jones, 67 of Peru, sitting on the steps of a trailer in the park. A silver in color SUV with a license plate that matched the number reported by the first caller was parked in the driveway.
Trooper Russell approached the woman and could immediately smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Ms. Jones and could observe that her eyes were bloodshot and glassy.
Trooper Russell also noted there was damage to the front bumper of the SUV. The vehicle had a large white scrape mark on it and the trailer had a crack in the lower skirt panel that lined up with the front of the SUV.
Trooper Russell asked the woman if she was ok after hitting the trailer and she claimed that the damage to her vehicle was two years old and that she had been home about an hour and a half just sitting on her steps. According to Trooper Russell’s report, Jones’ speech was slurred, and she could “strongly detect the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her breath as she spoke.”
Ms. Jones was then asked for her driver’s license and registration. She stated that they were both in the vehicle. As she got up to move to the SUV, Trooper Russell observed that her balance was unstable.
Jones again stated that she had been home for an hour and a half. Trooper Russell then touched the front of the SUV and felt that the engine area was still warm.
After talking with Ms. Jones, she appeared confused as to the timeline of when she arrived home. She was again asked how long she had been home and replied and hour and a half. She was again asked how much she had to drink, and she responded she had three mixed drinks with a shot of Jim Beam in each.
Trooper Russell than asked her how she had damaged her vehicle and she said she had never hit anything before and that another car had hit her three months ago. Trooper Taylor Roth then informed Ms. Jones that the damage appeared to be much more recent and that there was no sign of paint on the bumper. Jones responded that she had wiped the paint off.
Jones was then asked to take the Standard Field Sobriety tests. As she moved to the roadway for the tests she had to hold Trooper Russell’s arm for balance.
Jones started to participate in the first test, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. After being given instructions for the test, Trooper Russell, Jones moved her head in both directions rather than follow the tip of Russell’s finger. She was again reminded to only use her eyes and the test was restarted. Jones again moved her entire head rather than using her eyes. She was again reminded to keep her head still and again moved her entire head during the test.
Jones then stopped the test and asked: “what are we doing here?” Trooper Russell then explained to her that she was being offered a standard field sobriety test. Ms. Jones stated she was home and had not been driving. Russell then advised that another driver on US Route 31 had observed her driving erratically and had described her SUV and provided her plate number. She also advised that a neighbor had watched her drive into her trailer and saw her get out of her vehicle and lay in the street.
Jones then stated that she knew what was going on and that her neighbors were setting her up. She then began to walk back toward her residence.
Trooper Russell asked Ms. Jones if she was willing to continue taking the test and she said she was not. She was then asked if she would take a preliminary breath test and she said she would not do anything else.
PPD Officer Westfall had interviewed the neighbor who reported witnessing Ms. Jones drive into her trailer. The woman confirmed that Jones was the woman who was driving the SUV and got out and laid down in the street.
Ms. Jones then became argumentative and stated she was home now. Jones was then placed in handcuffs and put in the back of Trooper Russell’s ISP Police vehicle.
After being read Indiana Implied Consent, she still refused to take a chemical test. At approximately 10:48 p.m. Trooper Russell informed Sandra Jones, 67 of Peru that she was under arrest for Operating While Intoxicated-Endangerment with a Prior Conviction within the Last Seven Years.
Jones then became abrasive and according to Russell’s report she asked if “she would still take her to jail if she told me where all the meth spots were?” She was advised that it would not make a difference.
She was then transported to the Miami County Jail. Upon arrival, she as again asked if she was willing to take a chemical breath test. She stated she “definitely would not.”
Trooper Russell had to assist Ms. Jones out of the Police vehicle and help her keep her balance as she walked into the book-in-area.
Jones was again offered a portable breath test by jail staff and agreed. The results of that test were .207% BrAC.
Sandra Jones, 67, of Peru, was arrested by Indiana State Police on a charge of Operating While Intoxicated-Endangerment with a Prior Conviction within the last seven years.
All criminal suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.