In the early morning hours of March 20, a 20-year-old Norwalk woman was charged with drunk driving while underage and a litany of other charges after she fled the scene of a traffic stop, according to news reports. Jenna Jewell is accused of attacking police officers as well, and faces charges that in addition to DUI include reckless driving, use and possession of drug paraphernalia, engaging in pursuit, assault on a peace officer, and more.
Norwalk police officers claim that just before 3 a.m. on Sunday, they witnessed an SUV with its headlights turned off driving in a northbound direction on North Main St. Police followed the vehicle, and noticed the female driver was operating the SUV in an erratic manner. After Jewell allegedly ran a red light, police used lights and sirens and gave chase. Police claim that with headlights still off, she continued to ignore red lights and eventually pulled over at an intersection, where her SUV struck the curb.
As police scanned her license plate, the woman sped away once more and drove in a dangerous manner, nearly colliding with another vehicle. The next time she stopped, officers removed her from the SUV in an effort to prevent her from fleeing the scene once more.
Upon removing Jewell from the SUV, police claim to have noticed a “strong odor of alcohol, marijuana, and urine.” Officers said her speech was slurred and mumbled, her eyes glazed, and movement sluggish. Police reported finding marijuana in the SUV. News reports also indicate she was violent with police, causing one officer to be taken to a hospital due to a face wound that was bleeding.
The woman refused a sobriety test, however officers charged her with DUI based on everything they witnessed out in the field.
Whether Jewell was under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or both, DUI is a serious criminal charge that depending on the circumstances may result in jail time, substantial fines, driver’s license suspension, a criminal record, community service, and more in the state of Michigan. In addition, minors (those under age 21) violate the Zero Tolerance law outlined in the Michigan Vehicle Code. Any person under age 21 with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .02 percent to .07 percent will be charged with DUI. Those with a BAC of .08 percent or greater will face more serious charges.
Depending on blood alcohol content, a minor may face criminal penalties which include mandatory community service and a $250 fine for a first offense DUI. If charged with a standard OWI for a BAC of .08 percent or greater, punishment may include license revocation, a maximum of 93 days in jail, higher fines, mandatory alcohol treatment, and more.
Anyone who is facing criminal charges for driving under the influence must consult with an experienced Michigan DUI attorney, regardless of age. A conviction has serious consequences, and may impact employment opportunities, the ability to obtain student loans, and possible loss of freedom along with loss of the privilege to drive. Never plead guilty without speaking with a skilled defense lawyer!