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Orchard Park woman with BAC more than 4 times legal limit arrested

A woman who was apparently so drunk that an Orchard Park police officer had to grab her steering wheel as she was driving and put the car into park, then undo her seatbelt for her before she fell on her back in the intersection and was carried to a patrol car, was arrested late Friday morning on multiple charges related to driving while intoxicated, police said.

Karen Kaitanowski

Karen Kaitanowski

At about 11:30 a.m. Friday, Orchard Park police received a call about someone recklessly operating a vehicle that was heading south on Abbott Road between Milestrip Road and New Era Stadium.

A police officer spotted the car drifting from the southbound into the northbound late of Abbott Road near Route 20A.

The officer saw a second vehicle pull up next to the drifting car in an attempt to stop the driver.

The officer also pulled up next to the car but the driver slowly drove through a red light at the intersection of Abbott and Route 20A.

The officer eventually reached into the car, grabbed the steering wheel and put the vehicle into park.

Police said the driver couldn't remove her seat belt and had to be helped. As she got out of the car, she fell onto her back in the intersection and had to be carried to a patrol car by a couple of officers, police said.

"Due to her obvious level of intoxication and concern for her safety, field sobriety tests were not given," police said in a statement.

Also, as the woman was being searched at the station, two unopened mini bottles of vodka were found in Kaitanowski's bra and one open mini bottle was found in her purse, police said.

The driver, identified as Karen Kaitanowski, 60, of Lehigh Drive in Orchard Park, was placed under arrest and taken to the police station. There she submitted to a breath test that indicated her blood alcohol level was .34 percent   – just over four times the legal limit for drinking and driving.

Kaitanowski was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving with a BAC  over .08 percent, passing a red light, having an open container of an alcoholic beverage and five other vehicle and traffic law charges.

She was released to a family member and is due back in Town Court on Tuesday.

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