Perry woman arrested on drunk driving, child endangerment charges

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Ashley Nicole Paulsen, 31, of Perry was arrested in Jefferson Sunday afternoon on charges of third-offense OWI, three counts of child endangerment, driving while suspended and failure to provide proof of financial liability.

A Perry woman was arrested on OWI and child-endangerment charges in Jefferson Sunday about 3:45 p.m. after a traffic stop led to her failing a field sobriety test and blowing over .08.

Ashley Nicole Paulsen, 31, of Perry was arrested by an officer of the Jefferson Police Department on charges of third-offense OWI, three counts of child endangerment, driving while suspended and failure to provide proof of financial liability.

Jefferson Police Department Chief Mark Clouse said the incident began when Paulsen caused a stir at a local retail store.

“She was unhappy evidently with the people who were waiting on her at Sparky’s,” Clouse said, “so she said, ‘I’m sick of this service here. I’m going to Casey’s.’ The clerk at Sparky’s was concerned enough about her apparent intoxication level that she called in and gave us a vehicle description.”

A Jefferson Police Department Officer responded to the Casey’s saw Paulsen get into her Dodge Durango and leave the gas station. The officer ran the vehicle’s plate, and it came back showing Paulsen with a suspended driver’s license. The officer also observed her driving performance.

“He did see her swaying in her lane, basically,” Clouse said, “so he went ahead and initiated a traffic stop and immediately got signs of intoxication.” The traffic stop occurred in the 500 block of N. Elm Street.

Clouse said Paulsen failed a field sobriety test, showed a preliminary breath test result of blood alcohol content over .08 and a later Datamaster test result of .088.

“That’s within the parameter of over the limit of .08,” Clouse said. “Obviously, with the three children in the vehicle, that’s an obvious child endangerment issue, which is why those three counts were leveled as well.”

The children, aged 4, 2 and 3 months, were taken into custody by a family member.

*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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