Nan Johnston must also serve 40 hours of community service
arkville Mayor Nan Johnston will serve two years on probation after pleading guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated.
Johnston, age 60, was arrested for DWI by a Platte County Sheriff’s Department deputy in late September. She was taken to the Platte County Jail, where she posted bond a couple hours later.
She entered her guilty plea in writing on Wednesday, Feb. 17, in advance of a court hearing that had been scheduled for March 10.
The case was handled in Platte County Circuit Court by Judge Dennis Eckold.
In addition to the two years of probation, Johnston is ordered to serve 40 hours of community service. She must also complete a substance awareness traffic offender program, according to court records.
During the car stop that led to her arrest on suspicion of DWI, after being asked to step out of her car by a Platte County Sheriff’s Department deputy, Parkville Mayor Nan Johnston grabbed her cell phone and told the deputy she was calling Kevin Chrisman, who is the chief of police for Parkville.
That is among the details included in the incident report by Platte County Sheriff’s Deputy Jordan DeClue about his car stop of Johnston, which occurred at 1:18 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. Johnston was southbound on Hwy. 9 in the area of Eastside Drive, a short distance north of Hwy. 45 near the edge of the Parkville city limits. The deputy was also southbound.
In his initial conversation with Johnston after pulling her over, the deputy says he noticed Johnston’s speech was slow and slurred, her eyes were bloodshot and glazed and that he could “smell the strong odor of an intoxicating beverage emit from the vehicle.”
The deputy asked Johnston if she had consumed any alcohol. Johnston told the deputy she had one beer around 5 p.m. He asked if he could check her eyes and she complied.
While she was seated in her vehicle, “I checked her left eye twice and saw distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation,” the deputy writes. “I informed Ms. Johnston of my findings and requested she step out of the vehicle for further testing.”
After his request for her to exit the vehicle, the deputy says he noticed Johnston was not getting out of the car.
“She grabbed her cell phone and started to make a phone call. Ms. Johnston told me she was calling Kevin Chrisman,” according to the report.
“I asked her if there was a reason she was making a phone call and she did not respond to me,” the deputy writes in the incident report.
The deputy writes: “I heard her tell the person on the phone ‘I’m fine but I don’t know what to do.’ I told her again to get out of the car and she did, however she was still on the phone. She told the person on the phone her location and further asked for advice. She then asked what department I was with and I told her Platte County. I then shut off my front facing lights for the test. She concluded her phone call so we could begin standardized field sobriety tests,” according to the report.
The report indicates Johnston performed poorly on the field sobriety test. The deputy notes that Johnston missed heel to toe several times during the walk-and-turn test. On Johnston’s second step, she stopped, placed her foot off the line and raised her right arm to help keep her balance.
On the one-leg stand test, according to the report, Johnston chose to raise her left foot and keep her right foot planted. Johnston raised her arms from her side and did not count out loud, the deputy says. “I reminded her to keep her arms down to her side during the test and to count out loud. I saw Ms. Johnston had a horizontal sway and she placed her foot down multiple times. She would also continue to raise her arms to help keep her balance,” the deputy wrote in his report.
The deputy then requested Johnston to take a preliminary breath test. The deputy says Johnston gave multiple samples which resulted in an insufficient flow due to her not blowing in the instrument correctly. At about 1:34 a.m., she blew a sample that provided a reading of .110 blood alcohol content (BAC). The legal limit for driving in Missouri is .08.
Johnston was advised she was under arrest. “She stated she needed to make some phone calls. She also informed me she was the mayor of Parkville,” according to the deputy’s report. “I told her she would be able to make phone calls eventually.”
The deputy says he placed Johnston in handcuffs about 1:35 a.m. and searched her pockets with negative results for contraband.
A second deputy moved Johnston’s vehicle to a nearby business parking lot at Johnston’s request.
In DWI cases, at the detention center the court-admissible BAC is taken using a DMT, which is a high tech breath testing machine. Johnston’s BAC as measured on the DMT was .098 at 2:26 a.m., which is a little more than an hour after the time of the car stop.
In an interview session conducted by the deputy after the test, Johnston incorrectly answered that the date was the 18th, according to the report. She stated three hours prior to contact with law enforcement she was visiting a friend. She said at about 5 p.m. she had one Mike’s Hard lemonade and had half of a Mike’s Hard Lemonade before driving.
When asked if she was under the influence, she stated “I don’t feel like it,” according to the deputy’s report. Johnston also responded she had not used any drugs in the past 72 hours, has no physical or mental conditions, and she is not taking any tranquilizers, pills, medicines or injections.
Johnston was pulled over after the deputy says he observed the vehicle she was driving crossing the center line, weaving within its lane and also crossing the solid white line on the right.
According to the incident report, while on patrol at about 1:18 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, the deputy was driving southbound on Hwy. 9 before NW Eastside Drive when he saw a Lexus driving in front of him. The deputy writes that he saw the vehicle, later to be determined being driven by Johnson, “driving near the dashed center line and occasionally the driver-side tires would cross the center line.”
“I then saw the vehicle swerve to the right where the passenger side tires fully crossed the solid white fog line. The Lexus entered back onto the roadway and continued to weave within its lane. As the vehicle went around a curve, I saw the driver side tires again cross the center line,” the deputy’s report says.
The deputy says he then activated his emergency equipment to conduct a traffic stop. Johnston’s vehicle then turned onto NW Eastside Drive and stopped in a lane of traffic, according to the report.
DASH CAM VIDEO
Dash cam video from the arrest is available for viewing in this report from KCTV-5: https://www.kctv5.com/ott/news/parkville-mayor-dwi-arrest-revealed-on-dashcam-video/video_bdbafef4-0da9-578e-9d2a-3ce617c28e1d.html