BUCKHANNON – A Braxton County woman was arrested last week after allegedly driving under the influence of a controlled substance with a young child in the vehicle and also possessing several illegal drugs.
Amber Kowalski, 33, of Sutton W.Va., was arrested Friday, July 16 on three counts of felony possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance; driving under the influence of a narcotic with a minor in the vehicle, a misdemeanor; and third-offense driving while license suspended, a misdemeanor.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Patrolman First Class Angel McCauley with the Buckhannon Police Department, on July 16, the E911 Upshur County Communication Center issued a be-on-the-lookout notice to law enforcement officers regarding a possible intoxicated driver in a Ford EcoSport. The driver was said to be leaving Sheetz with a child in the vehicle.
Cpl. T.A. Menendez with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police initiated a traffic stop at Speedway, and McCauley subsequently approached the scene, spoke to the driver, and received permission to search her vehicle, the file says. According to the report, Kowalski admitted to possessing a “dab pen” containing medical THC oil and heroin stamps in her purse. McCauley also reportedly found two pills classified as Schedule IV controlled substances – a 5-mg Diazepam pill (Valium) and a 2-mg Alprazolam pill (Xanax), the complaint alleges.
According to the report, Kowalski allegedly admitted to coming to Buckhannon to buy drugs. The file says she told law enforcement she had used heroin at about 2 a.m. and the THC dab pen approximately an hour before driving with her four-year-old daughter, who was in the vehicle.
McCauley’s complaints notes that Kowalski has several prior guilty convictions of driving while her license was suspended in Upshur County, with dates of April 24, 2015, and March 14, 2017. She was also convicted of second-offense driving while license suspended on Aug. 16, 2016, the file says.
Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis set bail at $15,000 cash or surety. As of Thursday, July 22, Kowalski was no longer listed on the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority website.
The penalty for a conviction of third-offense driving while license suspended is confinement in jail for a period of not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days and a fine of not less than $150 nor more than $500, while the penalty for felony possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance is confinement in the state penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than three years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
The penalty for a conviction of driving under the influence of a narcotic with minor is confinement in jail for not less than two days nor more than 12 months and a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000; in addition, the person shall have their license to operate a motor vehicle revoked by the Commission of the Division of Motor Vehicles for one year or another specified time period.