PUNXSUTAWNEY — A Johnstown woman faces charges of child endangerment after allegedly driving under the influence of drugs with her infant in the back seat on July 7.
Punxsutawney State Police filed 10 charges against Shawna Shay Bortz, 27, of Johnstown, on Aug. 6, including misdemeanor charges for endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering another person, and four DUI charges for being under the influence of controlled substances. She also faces summary charges for failing to carry registration, driving without insurance, careless driving and driving a vehicle without valid inspection.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the arresting officer was conducting routine patrols through the Punxsutawney Borough when he noticed Bortz displaying exaggerated reflexes and movements while driving. After following Bortz, and witnessing reckless driving, the officer pulled her over.
As the officer approached the car, he noticed the infant secured in the backseat. The officer then asked for her license, registration and insurance cards, and saw that the vehicle’s inspection was expired. Bortz reportedly admitted she knew the inspection was expired, and was only able to give the officer her license.
The officer reportedly noticed Bortz’s speech was slurred, and asked her if she was taking any medications, according to the affidavit. Bortz admitted to taking Zoloft, Hydroxyzine, and Suboxone to the officer. The officer then asked Bortz to undergo field sobriety tests, during which she showed signs of being impaired.
Arrangements reportedly were made, and Bortz’ boyfriend took custody of the child so she could be transported to the police station. After a drug influence evaluation, Bortz was taken to the Punxsutawney Area Hospital and given the opportunity to submit to a blood test, to which she consented. According to the affidavit, the hospital had trouble drawing blood, which Bortz said was caused by prolonged use of heroin. She said she had not used heroin in five years, but uses Suboxone and marijuana.
According to the toxicology report, Bortz reportedly had amphetamine, methamphetamine, clonazepam, THC, and norbuprenorphine in her system.
Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24 with Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline Mizerock.