Bower pleads guilty to habitual impaired driving

JEFFERSON-Colleen Elizabeth Bower, 48, pleaded guilty to habitual impaired driving in Ashe County Superior Court Wednesday afternoon.

Her conviction follows two separate car accidents where she was found to be at fault while behind the wheel.

As part of a plea arrangement, Bower was sentenced to two separate sentences of 15 to 27 months in the North Carolina Department of Corrections. Those sentences will run consecutively.

The first accident occurred in July 2013 at the intersection of Big Windfall and South Big Horse Creek roads in Lansing. When paramedics arrived no the scene, they noticed Bower was unstable on her feet and had glassy, red eyes. She was also slurring her speech and was confused by her surroundings.

She repeatedly told rescue workers and police officers that she had been searching for an apartment in Jefferson.

A toxicology report later found Bower to be under the influence of Alprazolam, barbituates and Oxycodone. Her second DWI occurred a short time later near Mulatto Mountain Road off of U.S. 221 in West Jefferson.

Bower later tested positive for Oxycodone during the time of the accident.

Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.

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