NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A local woman said she was charged with Driving While Impaired, even though her hospital records show she did not have drugs or alcohol in her system.
Danielle Peyton was involved in a wreck on February 4. According to the crash report from the Highway Patrol, Peyton made an "unsafe movement" and collided with another vehicle.
She remembers little from the crash.
"My airbag deployed," she recalls. "I woke up in the ambulance."
Peyton suffered from a concussion.
She said while she was in the hospital bed, a state trooper performed a breathalyzer test on her. She said she passed.
However, she failed the so-called "field sobriety" test because she couldn't follow the troopers fingers as he moved his hand in front of her.
"I was in a really bad accident," she said. "I could barely see. The lights were bothering me and I was incoherent."
That's why she was charged with DWI.
Even though tests performed at the hospital show she didn't have drugs or alcohol in her system, those results couldn't be used by investigators.
Troopers had to draw a separate vial of blood for testing and Peyton was told those results could take up to a year to come back.
"The hospital's blood work isn't good enough? That just doesn't make sense," she said.
She hopes to plead her case to a judge, when she appears in court later this month.
Meantime, there is a bill moving through the state general assembly that could allow blood taken at the hospital by to be admissible as evidence.
House Bill 183 was sponsored by Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-New Hanover). It passed the house and now moves to the senate.
Peyton is urging lawmakers to pass this. She believes it will help the innocent from having to go through this and help convict those who are guilty.
We're waiting for an official comment from state troopers on the potential changes to the law.
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