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A blood test reportedly confirmed that a Tennessee woman who was charged with a DUI in September 2021 — leading to her temporarily losing custody of her son — was sober at the time of her arrest.
WSMV reported that Williamson County nurse Katie Slayton had worked 41 hours in a three-day period at the height of the pandemic. She was not working the following day when she dropped off her 5-year-old son at a day care while she went to the mall.
Slayton reportedly returned to the day care hours later to pick up her son, but an employee secretly called the police on her, claiming she appeared “off,” was talking to herself, and walking in circles.
Police bodycam footage showed Slayton apparently having difficulty completing a field sobriety test as her son yells in the background. Per a police report, Slayton told officers that she takes Prozac and Adderall for ADHD.
“I don’t smell any alcohol,” one of the officers was heard saying in bodycam footage obtained by WSMV.
Slayton told the news outlet that she appeared “shaky” during the sobriety test because they had taken her son, who was running on the sidewalk and had started yelling when officers took him into the day care. She attributed failing the sobriety test to stress.
“I think, basically, it’s either fight or flight. It’s my maternal instincts. They were going off. I just realized they’re taking control of my son, and at that point, I started shaking,” she told the news outlet.
Upon failing the test, police officers are heard telling Slayton that the state will take custody of her son if she could not get ahold of a babysitter or family. Slayton tells cops that she is not from Tennessee and her phone is dead.
Slayton was charged with DUI in addition to felony child neglect. The Department of Child Services had custody of her 5-year-old son for nine weeks as they awaited reports on her blood alcohol levels — which showed she was not intoxicated when she was arrested last year. A psychologist ultimately cleared her to regain custody of her son.
However, it took six months for a more intensive blood test to show that she was sober the night of her arrest. Slayton’s attorney said she did test positive for “therapeutic levels” of her prescribed ADHD medication, amphetamine. In the bodycam footage, Slayton is heard maintaining that she took her medication that morning.
Franklin police told WSMV that they cannot comment on specifics, but they claimed probable cause was present in this case. Meanwhile, Slayton alleged that the police department refused to apologize and that an internal review of last year’s arrest uncovered no violations.
Slayton told WSMV that she plans to leave Tennessee in light of this ordeal.
She commented, “They have traumatized my son, they have traumatized me. And they have driven a nurse with a clean record in three states straight out of Franklin, Tennessee.”
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[Featured image: Katie Slayton/Franklin Police Department]