CLEARFIELD – A local doctor is facing charges for allegedly driving under the influence while on her way to work.
Jessica Ann Ayres, 41, of Clearfield is charged by Clearfield Borough police with misdemeanor DUI/controlled substance and three summaries. She waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday, and her bail was set at $1,000 unsecured.
The charges stem from a traffic stop that occurred at approximately 8:37 a.m. Nov. 18 in Clearfield, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed with the office of Magisterial District Judge Mike Morris.
While on patrol, Officer Austin Miller saw a white 2020 BMW X6 pull out from the intersection of South Fourth Street and Leavy Avenue. The driver, later identified as Ayres, reportedly failed to ensure it was safe to pull out, causing Miller to hit his brakes.
Ayres’ vehicle then traveled south on Fourth Street to Ogden Avenue. At the corner, children were getting on a school bus. The bus had its lights and stop sign activated, as well as the yellow stop bar out in front. Ayres reportedly drove around the stop bar and through the intersection.
She turned left onto Park Avenue, which is posted at 35 miles per hour, but Miller’s speedometer clocked Ayres’ vehicle at approximately 53 miles per hour. Miller then activated his overhead lights and siren, initiating a traffic stop in the area of Park Avenue and Milford Street.
When the officer approached the vehicle, Ayres was on the phone with her employer, notifying she would be late, as she was pulled over for a speeding violation.
Miller advised Ayres as to why she was being stopped and she stated that she wasn’t aware she couldn’t travel around the bus stop bar. He asked Ayres to provide her driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance and her actions appeared “sporadic.”
He said she grabbed and dropped documents numerous times, and she would also exaggerate her arm movements. When asked if she was on any medications, Ayres initially stated cough and cold medicine.
Due to her behavior and cold temperatures, Miller administered the lack of convergence test while having Ayres remain seated inside her vehicle. He said Ayres’ eyes would jolt around, and she was unable to smoothly follow the tip of his pen.
As he brought the stimulus to the bridge of her nose, he saw that Ayres’ left eye came to the center, then drifted away. Miller administered the same test and Ayres displayed the same result, and he asked her to exit her vehicle for additional testing.
He had Ayres perform the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and Ayres had equal pupil size and tracking. During the test, Ayres reportedly did show a lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes, and was unable to focus on the pen. On this test, she displayed two clues.
Because of the temperature and slick roadway conditions, Miller chose not to have Ayres perform the walk and turn or the one-leg stand tests for her safety. Miller instead administered the modified Romberg balance and lack of convergence tests.
On the balance test, Ayres reportedly swayed approximately two to three inches side to side, and exhibited eyelid tremors. On the lack of convergence test, she was unable to focus on the pen and her left eye would come to the center and drift outwards.
Following field sobriety testing, Miller again asked Ayres what medication she’d taken and she allegedly admitted to having taken Gabapentin. Ayres was subsequently transported to the Clearfield Borough police station to be evaluated by a drug recognition expert.
She, however, refused to complete the testing with the DRE at the station and stated that she wanted to speak with her father who is also an attorney.
In the affidavit, Miller said individuals are neither permitted to speak to an attorney, nor anyone else prior to deciding whether or not to submit to testing.
If an individual requests to speak with an attorney or someone else or remains silent, they have refused the test. Ayres was then released to her mother with instructions to have her vehicle removed.