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BAY, Ark. – A report from a fellow driver led to the weekend traffic stop and arrest of the woman in charge of a local post-rehab/incarceration house for females. She is now accused of DWI #1, DWI Refusal to Submit, and Hazardous Driving.
Cathy Frans, 50, of Jonesboro, was arrested Saturday night, June 22, 2018, by Bay Police Department on charges of DWI and refusal to submit, both misdemeanors. The report obtained by NEA Report says the incident began at 7:52 PM, when a motorist advised Bay’s Officer David Milam that the, “lady in the black Jeep in front of them was falling asleep or something because she was running off the road,” and driving hazardously.
Milam pulled out and caught up to the Jeep, where he reported seeing it nearly hit a vehicle turning right onto Morgan Street. A traffic stop was initiated at Highway 463 and Bruner Street. As the officer asked for her license, registration, and proof of insurance, he noted smelling alcohol. When he asked Frans if she had been drinking, Frans reportedly said she had a “couple of beers at the pool.” She then told Milam she had a handgun in her glove box. She reached for it and took out to lay on her dash. Milam instructed her to turn the weapon over to him, and she did.
Around this time, Officer Timothy Burns arrived on the scene. He, too, made contact with Frans and said he could immediately smell a strong odor of alcohol.
“Frans appeared to be somewhat disoriented and her movements were slow,” reported Burns. “Her eyes were bloodshot/watery as well.”
Bay police began a field sobriety test to determine her level of intoxication. Throughout the entire test, officers had to instruct her multiple times and said she swayed back and forth. Frans told police she had a problem with her balance and felt as if the road was slanted. The officers allowed her to move and continue the test. Repeatedly, the officer said he had to place Frans back into the starting position for the Walk and Turn Test.
“I advised her to look at her feet, count her steps aloud, keep her hands to her side and to not stop the test until she had completed it,” Burns said. “Frans stated that she understood my directions and began the test. She immediately placed both hands in her pockets and took 10 steps, none of which were heel-to-toe.”
The officer said it was very apparent to him she was over the legal limit to be operating a motor vehicle. He said he requested Frans turn around and put her hands behind her back. She pulled away slightly and placed her right hand on top of the officer’s, asking if they could talk about this. It took three additional requests to get her to comply, the report said.
The problems continued at the jail.
Once Burns arrived with Frans at the jail, the two went to the BAC room. The report said the officer began reading the DWI Rights form to Frans and was going over the sequence to be sure she understood it. She stated she wanted a copy to read for herself. Then, the officer said she stared at it briefly and said it was a terribly copy and she was having difficulty reading it.
“I reminded Frans that I was reading directly from the document and it appeared to be adequately visible,” Burns reported.
Frans argued that some of the words were not legible on the document. The officer said he tried to assist her to his best ability to understand the document but felt her lack of understanding was intentional.
“It appeared to me that Frans wasn’t actually making an attempt to read the document, only (to) prolong the testing sequence but I allowed her every opportunity to look over the document,” Burns said. “It appeared to me that she was having an extremely difficult time focusing and listening to me.”
After reading the sequences and initialing each, she reportedly said she understood everything which was read to her. The officer asked her to take a breathalyzer test and she refused. She and the officer both signed the rights form, acknowledging her refusal, the report said. However, she refused to sign the Arkansas Driver Control Form for the notice of suspension of driving privileges. She also refused to sign the citations she was written for DWI # 1, DWI Refusal, and Hazardous Driving.
Dash camera and body camera footage was logged with the police department. The vehicle was towed and the firearm was logged into property at Bay Police Department.
Frans initial court appearance was scheduled for Tuesday. She is being represented by attorney Skip Mooney Jr. of Jonesboro. NEA Report asked for comment. Mooney advised his client not to speak about the case – standard advice he said he gives all clients. He reiterated that we are all entitled to the legal presumption of innocence and the government is required to prove each element of a charge beyond a reasonable doubt.