Warwick, RI — Warwick officers arrested a 29-year-old Cranston woman Nov. 28 at 3:40 a.m. on a DUI charge after bystanders saw her 2008 Nissan Rogue jump the curb in the West Shore Road 7-Eleven lot and stop with her slumped unconscious at the wheel.
Officer Melissa Schlitzer arrived at the location, finding the SUV on top of the curb in the parking lot, running, with its headlights on. In the driver’s seat, she found a woman passed out, slouched with her head on the driver’s side window, and the vehicle set in drive.
Schiltzer opened the driver’s side door, and called the woman, identified as Julie Tipton, 29, of 113 Hybrid Drive, Apt. 11, Cranston, but the driver didn’t respond until her name was repeated several times, Schiltzer reported. When she did wake, the driver spoke nonsensically and attempted to put the Nissan in reverse. Schiltzer stopped her and asked her to shut off the engine, but had to do it herself and took the keys from the ignition.
Officer Jeremy Smith also responded and assisted Schiltzer during the call, according to the report.
Schiltzer asked Tipton to get out of the SUV to take sobriety tests, but she had to repeat the request three times due to the woman’s apparent confusion. The woman had to make a few attempts to exit the vehicle, steadied herself on the car to keep her balance, then stumbled out and sat on the curb before attempting the tests.
The tests did not go well for Tipton. She exhibited a lack of smooth pursuit in her vision, missed heel-to-toe cadence, was unbalanced and failed to follow instructions during the walk-and-turn, and could not steadily balance on one foot.
Schiltzer and Smith attempted to arrest Tipton on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, but the driver insisted that the officers check her SUV for her epilepsy medication, which they found. Tipton then sat back down in the vehicle and refused to get out.
The officers eventually pulled Tipton out of her car and placed her in handcuffs, then resisted being placed in a police cruiser. As Schiltzer drove Tipton to Warwick Police headquarters at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive, she noticed the woman shuffling, and had maneuvered so her hands were in front of her. When they arrived, Tipton refused to get out of the cruiser, and Schiltzer noted the woman had removed the handcuffs, according to the report.
The woman said she didn’t intend to cause trouble, she just didn’t want to wear the handcuffs, and handed them over to the officer. She then stayed in the cruiser for two minutes until the officer finally convinced her to get out.
Inside the station, Tipton refused to submit to a chemical test.
Schiltzer charged Tipton with DUI, first offense, blood alcohol unknown, and cited for refusing the chemical test, then transported to Kent County Memorial Hospital for detox, according to the report.
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