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Woman faces DUI and DUI endangerment charges

December 01, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg woman was charged with driving under the influence with child endangerment Wednesday in connection with a car accident involving two children, according to court records.

Melanie Yvonne Cutright, 30, of 248 Hermitage Drive, was charged with driving under the influence, DUI with injury and two counts of DUI with child endangerment, all of which are misdemeanors.

West Virginia State Police Trooper C.A. Ellwanger started an investigation early Wednesday after arriving at a traffic accident at 12:24 a.m. on U.S. 11 near Fruit Tree Lane, where a white Kia sport utility vehicle and a gray Jeep Liberty were stopped in the middle of the road, according to records filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

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Ellwanger spoke to both drivers, and the driver of the Jeep was taken to City Hospital in Martinsburg, records state. Cutright, driving the Kia, said she was not injured and did not want any treatment. She also said her two children in the car, a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old, were not injured and did not need treatment, records state.

Because Cutright's breath smelled of alcohol, Ellwanger asked her whether she had been drinking. She said she had had two beers, records state.

Cutright failed three field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test - the result of which was not given in court paperwork.

Cutright agreed to take the Intoxilyzer test and was taken to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department to be administered the test. Police tried six times to obtain a breath sample, but Cutright kept clogging the machine's tube with saliva or gum, police said.

Cutright was released on $23,500 bond.

This is the second case in less than three weeks that police have investigated involving a woman who allegedly drove drunk with a child in a car.

In an unrelated case, Pamela Lynn Artis, 28, of 53 Midnoon Drive in Martinsburg, was charged with child neglect, driving under the influence with a minor and other offenses after she allegedly crashed her pickup truck on W.Va. 9 on Nov. 14.

The pickup truck had crashed into a concrete median on the road and was stuck on the median, police said.

Artis had her 8-year-old daughter in the truck with her and neither was injured, police have said.

Conviction on a charge of DUI with child endangerment carries a sentence of up to one year in jail, records state.

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