Hartly woman charged with sixth DUI

HARTLY — Before a 64-year-old Hartly woman was charged with a sixth alleged DUI offense last Friday, police claimed her vehicle was clocked traveling 71 mph in a 40 mph zone, and accelerating at a rate that made a traffic stop difficult.

Eventually, police said in an affidavit of probable cause, Marian L. Seward, of the 900 block of Proctors Purchase Road, was stopped in the maroon/burgundy 2014 Dodge Challenger she was driving as an investigation ensued at approximately 8:02 p.m.

Ms. Seward later pleaded not guilty to all five charges against her.

According to a Delaware State Police trooper in court documents, an odor of alcohol allegedly was coming from the vehicle’s interior as contact with Ms. Seward began.

Marian L. Seward

Marian L. Seward

Police alleged in papers that Ms. Seward said she “consumed two drinks” and “later stated she consumed three mixed drinks.” The trooper described her eyes as “bloodshot and glassy” and said Ms. Seward “also had slurred speech and mumbled words.”

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests were conducted, police said, and Ms. Seward “blew through a Portable Breath Analyzer” in which she failed. She was taken into custody and transported to Delaware State Police Troop 3 for additional testing.

At the troop, police said in documents, Ms. Seward “consented and blew into the Intoxilyzer which registered .148.”

According to the Division of Motor Vehicles, a chemical test indicating .08 percent blood alcohol concentration or greater, or the presence of any drug, prescription or illegal, substance is sufficient for a DUI conviction.

Through a Criminal Justice Information System check, police said, Ms. Seward previously was convicted of DUI in 1991, 1992, 1999, 2003 and 2013, with all the offenses coming in Kent County.

No insurance could be located during the investigation, police said, and Ms. Seward was identified through her Delaware driver’s license.

Charges included sixth offense DUI, failure to have insurance card in possession, speeding, failure to remain within a single lane and improper signal.

A preliminary court hearing was scheduled for Friday morning. Ms. Seward initially was held by the Delaware Department of Correction in lieu of $3,004 secured bail in Justice of the Peace Court 7. A $6,650 bail was set in Justice of the Peace Court 3 before the case was transferred.

The trooper said in documents that the Dodge Challenger was first seen turning westbound on Strauss Avenue and turning northbound onto Taraila Road allegedly without using a turn signal.

“While approaching the vehicle, I observed the vehicle cross over the double solid yellow line into the southbound lane while traveling northbound …” police wrote in court documents.

“While continuing to approach the vehicle, I was able to pace the vehicle traveling 71 miles per hour in a 40 miles per hour zone …

“Once I was close enough to conduct a traffic stop, I activated emergency equipment in order to perform a traffic stop on same. …”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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