Trooper Zach Lenderman administers a field sobriety test on 44 year old Michelle Mariani, of Cleveland.
Felony DWI: Driver Possibly Intoxicated on Pills With Her Small Kids Onboard, LIVINGSTON, February 26, 2015 - Shortly before 5 pm on February 26, 2015, a Diboll Policeman (Lazaro Robles) was passing through Polk County when he spotted a dangerously erratic vehicle south-bound on US-59. The vehicle (a Jeep Wrangler) was being driven by Michelle Navalance Mariani, 44, of Cleveland. Robles initiated a traffic stop and was quickly joined by Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office includng Sergeant Christian Schanmier, Jacob Hopper and Cody Hardy with the Polk County Sheriff's Office. The deputies summoned Trooper Zach Lenderman with the Texas Highway Patrol. Lenderman administered a field sobriety test. Mariani appeared to be heavily intoxicated and could not walk a straight line and had difficulty standing up. Trooper Lenderman placed Mariani under arrest and charged her with felony driving while intoxicated (felony charge due to the small children in her vehicle whose lives were in danger). Lenderman was soon joined by Trooper Barret Duren. The children were driven to the Polk County Sheriff's Office where they would be in the care of Child Protective Services and possibly turned over to more responsible family members. An inventory of the vehicle turned up a large bottle of pain pills. Mariani's vehicle was recovered LakeView Wrecker and will be stored in Livingston.
Mariani couldn't seem to walk a straight line (Deputy Cody Hardy standing in background).
Mariani could harldy lift one leg off the ground without losing her balance (Sergeant Christian Shcanmier pictured in background).
Mariani was placed under arrest for felony DWI.
Due to the presence of Mariani's own son and daughter onboard, she was charged with felony DWI. The children were turned over to Child Protective Services.
Mariani was visibly upset at the idea of being arrested.
A large bottle of prescription pain killers were found in Mariani's vehicle.
Mariani's vehicle was recovered by LakeView Wrecker.
Molly, Heidi, and Mixi assisted in the reporting of this story.
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