Iowa City Woman Arrested For Drunken Driving Twice In One Day

By Lee Hermiston, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa — An Iowa City woman was arrested for drunken driving twice in the same day.

According to Iowa City police, officers responded to a report of a reckless motorist driving through the grass and sidewalk in the 2000 block of Davis Street at 12:24 a.m. Sunday. When police showed up at the scene, 49-year-old Madonna E. Ballinger was sitting on a lawn chair in front of her car, which was now parked in the driveway.

Police said the engine of Ballinger’s Oldsmobile was still hot, the keys were in the ignition and the switch had been turned to auxiliary. Ballinger initially denied driving, then said she just moved her car out into the street, police said. Ballinger also admitted to drinking all day, police said.

Police said field sobriety tests showed Ballinger was intoxicated, and a preliminary breath test indicated she had a blood alcohol content of .206 percent.

Ballinger was arrested for second-offense drunken driving — her first conviction was in 2009 — and was taken to the police department. While at the department, Ballinger was asked to empty her pockets. Police said Ballinger shook out her shirt and a one gram baggie of marijuana fell out. Ballinger said the marijuana was hers, police said.

According to jail records, Ballinger was booked at the Johnson County Jail at 2:04 a.m. Sunday and released from jail at 9:55 a.m. Sunday.

Police said, after receiving calls about a drunken driver, Ballinger was seen by an officer driving her Oldsmobile into a liquor store parking lot at 7:45 p.m. May 11. Police said the officer approached Ballinger in her vehicle and smelled alcohol. For the second time that day, she failed field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test showed she had a blood alcohol content of .177 percent.

Ballinger was arrested and charged with drunken driving. She remains in custody at the Johnson County Jail on a $10,000 cash-only bond.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@sourcemedia.net

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