LIMA — One of the candidates to become Lima’s next mayor who was charged with driving while intoxicated was found guilty of a reduced charge Friday.
Autumn Swanson, 41, of Lima, was found guilty of the reduced charge of having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence. She must pay a $250 fine and court costs. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail, all suspended as long as she completed a driver intervention program and she had no further OVI or alcohol-related offenses in the next two years.
A charge of failure to maintain reasonable control was dismissed at the prosecutor’s request.
“From the start of this incident I have been adamant that this was never alcohol related,” Swanson said via email Friday night. “As a candidate for mayor I don’t have the bandwidth to deal with a court fight and a campaign to bring Lima into the 21st century.”
Swanson was originally charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated after a February incident. Her car had become stuck in the snow around 1 a.m. Feb. 21, and an Allen County Sheriff’s Office deputy found her in the vehicle.
Physical control means someone’s in the driver’s position in the vehicle and has possession of the ignition device, but the vehicle isn’t moving.
At her arrest, Swanson refused to take a sobriety test. That is an automatic one-year drivers’ license suspension. Her campaign issued a statement that Swanson simply pulled off the side of the road to use her phone, at which time her vehicle became stuck in the snow.
In December 2018, she was arrested on an intoxication charge, pleaded no contest, was found guilty and had to pay a fine and court costs amounting to $148.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.