A 53-year-old Fayetteville woman, convicted in a previous DWI death, was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated Sunday night (June 8). The arresting officer said she was not wearing pants or underwear.
Jo Jackson was booked into the Washington County Detention Center just past midnight on Monday (June 9) and was out of jail several hours later on a $1,780 bond. Jackson is set to appear in Fayetteville District Court on July 14. She faces charges of driving while intoxicated and driving on a suspended or revoked license, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office website.
Jackson’s license was suspended after she was convicted in the September 2011 death of veteran Fayetteville road worker Jackie Luper, 51, on Joyce Boulevard. She told officers she had taken prescription medications prior to the incident. Her 12-year-old daughter was in the car at the time, officials said.
Following her negligent homicide conviction in June 2012, Jackson received a sentence of time served and was sentenced to no further jail or prison time, according to court records. She was also sentenced to 12 months of probation, which she fulfilled in June 2013, records show.
The city renamed the section of Joyce Boulevard from College Avenue to Crossover Road the honorary Jack Luper Boulevard.
On Sunday just after 9 p.m., Jackson was arrested at the Sonic Drive-In at 2908 N. College Ave. in Fayetteville after police received a report that a vehicle had hit a trash can, according to a preliminary arrest report.
Joshua Garrett is a manager at the Sonic. Garrett said he saw how the incident began.
“She pulled through our lot and came through our parking lot,” he said. “She hit our trash cans and then backed up and proceeded to hit them again. She almost drove straight into the glass at the Tune Concrete Co. back here. She actually pulled up on the curb and got really close and then stopped.”
Garrett said he then called police, because he was worried about the safety of his guests.
Jackson, whose Toyota Sequoia was in the Sonic parking spot, told the arresting officer she didn’t know if her SUV hit the trash can. The officer reported that Jackson had “bloodshot, watery eyes” and said she’d had a couple of glasses of wine. An empty, small bottle of wine was in a cup holder inside the vehicle, the report states.
Jackson was not wearing pants or underwear. She covered herself in a blanket when the officer asked her to get out of the Sequoia. Asked why she wasn’t wearing pants or underwear, she told the officer she was “just going to get something for dinner,” according to the report.
Police administered a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, but said Jackson refused to take other tests since she did not have any pants on.
“Every situation is different,” said Sgt. Craig Stout, Fayetteville Police Department. “In this one here, the officers chose not to do the rest of the failed sobriety tests, because she was not wearing any pants. She just would not be able to perform those tests and I don’t believe she would want to.”
Her blood alcohol content level registered .14 at the detention center, the report states.
5NEWS went to Jackson’s home on Monday. She answered the door, but declined to comment on what happened.
Mark Ridgeway said he knows people who live nearby Jackson’s house. He said authorities need to take action, because she is a danger to others on the roadway.
“I know that parents in the neighborhood have told their kids to be cautious when riding their bikes, crossing the street or even playing in the street,” he said. “They need to do something so that she is not driving immediately. Maybe they need to have a longer probationary period for her.”
Tammy Hahn is with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. She said drunk drivers typically drive intoxicated about 80 times before their first arrest. Additionally one third of DWI arrests are repeat offenders, Hahn said.
“It’s a big enough problem that everyone not only in Northwest Arkansas, but all across America should be concerned about,” she said. “Almost 11,000 people die every year.”
Hahn is a survivor of a drunk car accident. She said law enforcement needs to take action against convicted repeat offenders.
“There has to be something done in order for these offenders to learn the very first time or even before the first time how serious this can be,” she said.