Spike Strip Fails to Stop DUI Driver on I-78, Police Say

A Center Valley woman is facing numerous charges including DUI and felony fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.

Est. Read Time: 3 mins

A Center Valley woman with prior DUI convictions is facing numerous charges including DUI and felony fleeing or attempting to elude an officer after Pennsylvania State Police at Belfast say she led officers on a miles-long pursuit that began at the Rt. 33 interchange on I-78 in Lower Saucon Township and continued into Upper Saucon Township, allegedly driving over a spike strip along the way, according to a WFMZ news story.

The story states that Margaret Bonnie Sajez, 42, of the 3500 block of Bittersweet Road, Upper Saucon Township, allegedly drove off after a trooper spotted her car stopped along the southbound Rt. 33 ramp onto I-78 west at around 1:30 a.m. Monday, refusing to stop after he ordered her to pull over by using a public address system and then partially driving over the spike strip that was laid down before exiting I-78 at Rt. 145 and continuing onto Oakhurst Drive and local roads in her neighborhood, where police say she crashed into a trooper’s vehicle and swerved into a yard before finally stopping on Oakhurst.

According to court records, in addition to DUI and fleeing and eluding Sajez is also charged with four counts of recklessly endangering another person (Misdemeanor 2), driving on a suspended license with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 or higher, and summary offenses including careless driving, reckless driving, an open container violation and four counts of disregarding a traffic lane.

Following a preliminary arraignment before District Judge Jacqueline Taschner Monday, Sajez was committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $500,000 bail, which she has failed to post, court records indicate.

Sajez was previously charged with fleeing or attempting to elude an officer (Misdemeanor 2) in Bethlehem in December 2016, but the charge was later withdrawn as part of a negotiated settlement in which she pleaded guilty to careless driving and driving on a suspended license, according to court records.

She was sentenced last month by Judge Samuel P. Murray to 90 days in jail with credit for time served to be followed by house arrest, and ordered to pay a $500 fine in that case.

“Defendant is to report to prison on June 30, 2017 at 9 a.m. to prison for bracelet,” court records state.

Previously, in November 2015 in another case that originated with charges filed by state police at Belfast, she pleaded guilty to DUI (Misdemeanor 1) at the highest rate of alcohol (.16 BAC and above), second offense, according to court records.

In December 2015 she was sentenced by Judge F.P. Kimberly McFadden to serve a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of 5 years in jail with credit for time served and immediate eligibility for work release, and ordered to undergo drug and alcohol treatment “per evaluation,” according to records.

Sajez was also charged with DUI: Highest Rate of Alcohol, Third Offense, in Allentown in December 2016. That case has yet to be adjudicated, according to records.

In December 2010 in Bethlehem, Sajez was charged with felony fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, DUI, misdemeanor accidents involving death or personal injury and other charges, according to court records.

In that case as part of a negotiated settlement the charges of fleeing or attempting to elude and officer and accidents involving death or personal injury were withdrawn and Sajez pleaded guilty to recklessly endangering another person, accident involving damage to an attended vehicle/property and DUI-High Rate of Alcohol (BAC .10-.16 percent), according to online court records.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at josh@sauconsource.com.

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