Tonawanda News

May 25, 2011

Woman gets felony DWI for kids

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Police arrested a woman for felony driving while intoxicated early Monday, but not before she and a passenger tried to pull a switcheroo on police.

According to reports, Nolga Kouang was charged under the state’s child passenger protection act, commonly called Leandra’s Law, because her 9-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son, were passengers in her vehicle.

Police pulled over Kouang’s Ford Explorer around 12:30 a.m. Monday after watching it travel down Niagara Falls Boulevard at 20 mph in a posted 35 mph zone. There were two other vehicles traveling behind the vehicle.

Police initiated a traffic stop, but the Explorer continued for approximately 10 seconds before coasting and eventually stopping. The reporting officer noted he shined his spotlight into the driver’s side mirror, revealing a black female in the drivers’ seat as it came to a stop.

“When I exited my patrol vehicle, the Ford Explorer started to bounce from side to side,” the officer reported. When he arrived at the vehicle, “I observed a black male in the driver’s seat and the female driver was now in the passenger seat.”

The officer told the male that he knew he wasn’t driving the vehicle and that he would be talking to the passenger.

Kouang was asked to step out of the car and according to police she was unsteady and had trouble keeping her balance.

“I had a brief conversation with Ms. Kouang where she admitted to driving and having some drinks at a birthday party,” the report said.

Kouang exhibited numerous signs of intoxication and failed field sobriety tests. She tested positive on an alco sensor. Police arrested Kouang and brought her back to police headquarters where she was read her refusal warnings. She refused a breath test.

Police then began to read Kouang her Miranda warnings when she “asked for an interpreter, even though she didn’t have a problem communicating and understanding me prior to the arrest,” the officer reported.

An interpreter who spoke French was contacted and placed on the phone in a three-way conversation with Kouang and the officer. The interpreter translated for Kouang her Miranda warnings.

Kouang again refused, saying “I drank, I do not want to take test.”

She is facing two felony DWI charges under Leandra’s Law, driving too slow, endangering the welfare of a child and moving from a lane unsafely.

Child protective services was also contacted about the incident.