Rhinebeck woman drives drunk, hits squad car, hurts troopers, police say

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A Dutchess County woman was driving drunk early Tuesday evening when her car slammed into a parked State Police squad car, slightly injuring the two troopers inside, police said.

Jayne Wardwell-Christy, 56, of 18 E. Cedar Lane in Rhinebeck, was charged with driving while intoxicated in the incident, Sgt. Robin Reed of State Police at Rhinebeck said Wednesday.

About 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wardwell-Christy drove the wrong way out a one-way parking lot entrance on Livingston Street in the village of Rhinebeck and turned right, driving eastbound for about 75 feet before rear-ending a state police car parked along the side of the road, Reed said. The troopers in the vehicle were taken to Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck for back and neck pain and were treated and released Tuesday night, Reed said.

The extent of damage to the vehicles was not disclosed, Reed said.

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Troopers responding to the scene interviewed Wardwell-Christy and detected alcohol on her breath, Reed said. They put her through a series of field sobriety tests, which she failed, then took her to the Rhinebeck state police barracks and administered a Breathalyzer test, which revealed a blood-alcohol content of .14 percent, almost twice the limit of .08 percent at which a person in the state is considered legally intoxicated.

Wardwell-Christy was charged and released on her own recognizance. She is to appear in Rhinebeck Village Court at 7 p.m. Dec. 6. No information on her legal representation was available Wednesday afternoon, and a message left at her home was not immediately returned.

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