CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield woman accused of driving while she was intoxicated with a child in her vehicle waived her right to a preliminary hearing during centralized court Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.
Jessica Lynne Ward, 35, of Clearfield has been charged with endangering welfare of children; driving under the influence; and recklessly endangering another person. Bail has been set at $5,000 monetary.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on May 6 Clearfield Borough police were dispatched to South Fourth Street for a report involving Ward, who had just picked up her child at a residence there. Ward was believed to be intoxicated, the caller told police.
Police traveled to Ward’s residence to check for her vehicle. It was not there. While police were traveling south on NW Fourth Avenue, Ward drove by in a vehicle matching the description provided by County Control.
Police were able to turn around and make contact with Ward at her residence. Upon arrival police observed her exiting the driver’s seat of the vehicle.
Ward allegedly had an odor of alcohol emitting from her. She also had bloodshot and glassy eyes, a staggered gait, slurred speech and used the door to her vehicle to balance herself.
Ward was asked if she had been drinking, and she replied no. Police advised they had detected an odor of alcohol, at which point she admitted to drinking two beers earlier, “but it had been a while.”
Police observed a juvenile male in the backseat of Ward’s vehicle, according to the affidavit. Police asked Ward to perform a series of field sobriety tests – a finger dexterity test, one-leg stand and the nine-step walk and turn – which she didn’t perform as instructed to by police.
Ward refused to submit to a chemical blood test. She later told police that she takes medication. When she showed them to police, it was found that they all have warnings advising not to drive after consumption. It was also found that alcohol consumption would affect the medication.
Ward was on probation with a no alcohol clause. Police contacted probation and Ward was lodged in the county jail.