A woman arrested Tuesday for allegedly driving drunk with her two children in the back seat faces a first offense DUI charge, even though she has been arrested 3-times in the last 8 years for DUI.
Investigators say 24-year-old Nicole Strelko’s blood-alcohol was .214, almost three times above the legal limit when she crashed into an icy drift just after midnight on Tuesday at the intersection of 129th and Fort Streets.
"I looked out my window and saw two police cars and a smaller car between them," says Fred Whitelock, whose backyard overlooks the intersection.
A 911 caller told the dispatcher the driver looked intoxicated and that there were two small children in the backseat.
Omaha police booked Nicole Strelko for two counts of child neglect and first offense DUI.
It's her third DUI arrest in 8-years but the only one that will count against her record.
Here's why: she got a DUI when she was 16 -- so that doesn't count because she was a juvenile. When she was 18, she was arrested for DUI but that was reduced to Reckless Driving.
Her two young children who were in the backseat were taken to a relatives house. Nicole Strelko was released on her own recognizance. We're told she showed remorse when facing the judge. She'll be back in court in April.
Since this is technically her first arrest for DUI, it's a misdemeanor.
First offense carries a maximum penalty of sixty days in jail and a minimum of seven days.
Because her blood alcohol level was above 0.15, there's an enhanced penalty which means she could lose her license for a year -- rather than six months.
If she is convicted and gets sentenced to probation, she not only would lose her license for a year but go to jail for two days or perform 120-hours of community service.