Fort Mill woman charged with DUI after backing into patrol car

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comDecember 17, 2013 

Elaine Lands

— A Fort Mill woman who authorities suspected of drunken driving backed into a deputy’s patrol car after nearly hitting a parked truck and swerving across the highway on Sunday, officials said.

Deputies patrolling U.S. 21 near the Department of Motor Vehicles noticed a silver Toyota Corolla drifting over into the fog line and then ran off the side of the road, according to a York County Sheriff’s report. Deputies activated their blue lights to perform a traffic stop as the car got back onto the highway, slowed in the middle lane of traffic, veered left into another lane and then turned the wrong way into Food Lion’s parking lot.

Deputies followed the car as the driver tried turning into a parking space but instead nearly hit a truck, the report states. A deputy parked his patrol car and walked towards the Corolla only to notice the car’s reverse lights come on. The Corolla slowly backed into the patrol car. The deputy tapped on the window and spoke with the driver, 63-year-old Elaine Lands, who struggled with unlocking the door.

Lands told authorities that she did not have anything to drink, but she was “in a hurry to get cough syrup” so she could meet her friend at a Christmas cantata in Charlotte, the report states. Deputies could not smell alcohol on her breath, but her speech was slurred and she “fumbled around looking for her credentials.” She nearly fell over while searching for a card she thought dropped onto the ground.

She failed several field sobriety tests, and authorities found a white plastic cup filled with white wine in her car’s center console, the report states. She was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and open container of wine.

After only giving a .03 breath sample, deputies administered a drug test and realized she was under the influence of a depressant. She later told deputies she took Ambien, a sedative.

She was released from the York County Detention Center Monday on a more than $1,200 bond.

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