August 30, 2014

Medina
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66°F

Wadsworth police: Drunken driver, balloons disrupt electricity

WADSWORTH — A crash caused by a suspected drunken driver left part of the city without power for nearly 90 minutes Wednesday night.

Police said a vehicle driven by Paulette R. Wolf, 47, 192½ West St., struck a utility pole in the 300 block of State Street at about 7:10 p.m.

City Service Director Chris Easton said roughly 1,700 customers in the southwest and southeast parts of the city were without electricity until about 8:30 p.m.

Easton said the pole has been stabilized but will need to be replaced.

Wolf was charged with operating a vehicle impaired, failure to maintain control of her vehicle, and refusing to take a field sobriety test with a prior OVI conviction within the past 20 years.

In November 2011, she was found guilty of driving under the influence in July of that year. She served 25 hours of community service and received a 90-day license suspension with limited driving privileges.

Under Ohio law, an OVI charge within six years of a prior conviction is considered a second offense and carries elevated penalties.

The charge is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 20 days jail, or 10 days in jail and 36 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring, and/or continuous alcohol monitoring with an ankle bracelet for up to six months, and a license suspension of up to five years.

The failure to control charge also is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail, and the refusal to test charge carries a one-year license suspension by itself.

The initial police incident report said there were injuries involved, but the details are unknown because the full investigation still is under way. A Police Department spokesman was not available for comment Thursday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, around 10:45 a.m., about 1,200 residents along the Akron Road circuit in the northeast part of the city experienced a momentary outage when a cluster of Mylar balloons hit some wires.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.