When most people think of a DUI charge, they imagine a driver under the influence of alcohol. However, there appears to be a new threat on the roadways - users driving under the influence of heroin.
Three recent cases involve alleged heroin addicts driving high on opiates and other narcotics.
Kristin Lynn Kolasa, 31, of 330 Government Place, faces DUI charges in two separate cases involving possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under a suspended license.
Her most recent case involves additional charges of endangering the welfare of a child and providing false identification to officers.
On Dec. 4, officers pulled Kolasa over after allegedly witnessing her texting while driving.
While speaking with Kolasa, officers noticed a small child, about 18 months old, in the back seat of the vehicle. According to police, the infant was not restrained in a child seat.
Kolasa, who had no identification on her, allegedly identified herself as "Kristin Webster." She explained that the car belonged to her ex-husband, Danny Kolasa, and that the child in the back seat was her son.
After discovering her true identity, officers noted that Kolasa had an active bench warrant and placed her into custody. A search of Kolasa resulted in police finding a small, blue packet containing heroin residue, and a search of the vehicle uncovered four small syringes packaged together in a rubber band, one used syringe, and two spoons, according to court records.
Kolasa was arraigned before District Judge James H. Sortman on Dec. 10. She is incarcerated in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Kolasa also faces charges for an incident which took place on Aug. 5, when city police were called to Grampion Boulevard for a one-vehicle crash.
Though Kolasa denied driving the vehicle, witnesses at the scene told authorities she had been the only occupant.
Officers noted that Kolasa was "visibly unsteady on her feet." In addition, her slurred speech allegedly was "incomprehensible," according to police.
She was asked to perform a series of field sobriety tests. According to the affidavit, Kolasa failed all three tests she was asked to perform.
Kolasa was taken into custody for suspicion of DUI. In her upper shirt pocket, officers discovered "a single empty white wax packet" which contained heroin residue, according to court records.
Kolasa was taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center where a blood test verified that she had a slew of drugs in her system at the time of the crash, including Clonazepam and morphine, according to the affidavit.
Kolasa was arraigned before District Judge Gary Whiteman on Dec. 4 and incarcerated in lieu of $5,000 bail.
Another driver, Laura Renee Kaliszewski, 25, of 236 Bubbs Lane, Jersey Shore, faces charges of driving under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia, after a commuter found her unconscious in the drivers seat of her vehicle.
According to police, the man was travelling home from work when he noticed Kaliszewski's car parked in the middle of Dunkleberger Road, just off Bottle Run Road in the city. He told police Kaliszewski was passed out with her head on the driver's side window frame.
When the man went over to check on her, the car began rolling toward an embankment which drops down into a creek on the side of the road, but he reached into the vehicle and turned the wheel so that it rolled into a tree, rather than into the creek, according to reports.
Kaliszewski then began having convulsions, according to police, and was unconscious, though restless, when officers arrived on scene. In the affidavit, authorities recalled that she was "very restless," kicking and scratching her arms, as she slept, according to court records.
When she came to, Kaliszewski allegedly admitted to being on probation for charges stemming from heroin use. She explained that she had taken seven Vicotin pills about three days prior, and had last used heroin intravenously about four days prior.
Blood tests revealed the presence of both Tramadol, a pain medication, and morphine in her blood, according to court records.
Kaliszewski was arraigned before District Judge James H. Sortman on Dec. 14. She has since been released on $2,500 bail.