DWI in the DA's office

Almost a year after a Catawba County assistant district attorney was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, another employee of District Attorney James C. Gaither Jr.’s office was charged with DWI.

Newton-resident Jennifer P. Wyatt, 42, was arrested, Friday, June 2 and charged with DWI after she was involved in a car crash on N.C. 10 in Newton. Wyatt is currently employed by the District 25 Attorney’s Office as a legal assistant or victim witness coordinator, according to a website for Gaither’s office.

According to Newton Police Department accident reports, Wyatt was driving east on N.C. 10 near Sigmon Dairy Road when her vehicle ran off the right side of the road. The vehicle then came back onto the road, crossed the center line and was struck in the passenger side by a westbound vehicle driven at 45 mph by Ross Nash of Charlotte.

The accident happened about 9:44 p.m., and both vehicles were towed from the scene, according to police reports.

When police arrived at the scene, according to arrest reports submitted by NPD officer B.J. Cloninger, “The defendant had a strong odor of alcohol coming from (her) breath. Defendant had bloodshot, glassy eyes and slurred speech. Defendant failed all (field sobriety tests.”

Cloninger administered breath tests at 11:04 p.m. and 11:07 p.m. and both tests indicated a blood alcohol level of 0.13, according to court records. In North Carolina, it is illegal for a driver to to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher.

For the complete story - including the response from District 25 Attorney Jay Gaither's office - be sure to see the Wednesday edition of The Observer News Enterprise.