County council member Cates facing two DUI charges

Kosciusko County Council member Kimberly Cates is pictured at a recent county council meeting. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By David Slone

WARSAW — Two class A misdemeanor charges were filed today against Kosciusko County Councilwoman Kimberly Cates.

Special Prosecutor Daniel J. Sigler filed a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated/endangerment and operating a vehicle while per se intoxicated against Cates, 57, of Syracuse.

According to a report filed with the charges, on March 9, 2024, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office deputy Todd Eby was on duty in a fully-marked patrol car. He was northbound on Ind. 13, just north of North Webster.

At approximately 11 p.m., he saw a white Sedan, also northbound, in front of his squad car. He saw the Sedan weaving within its lane and frequently crossing the fog line with both passenger side tires going completely over the fog line. Eby turned on his car camera and continued to follow the Sedan for approximately 5 miles. During that time, he saw the Sedan weaving and crossing the fog line multiple times.Eby activated his emergency lights and made a traffic stop at the intersection of Ind. 13 and North Grandview Drive. After advising dispatch of his traffic stop, he approached the vehicle. He introduced himself to the driver — later determined to be Cates — and explained the reason for the stop.

He asked her for her driver’s license. He noticed Cates had slurred speech and appeared to him to be somewhat confused. He asked her if she had been drinking. She told Eby that she had a couple drinks. She then stated she had been at an event in North Webster and had two beers.
Eby returned to his vehicle and contacted dispatch with the driver’s license information.

Dispatch advised Eby that Cates’ license had a suspended infraction.

Eby returned to the Sedan and, while doing so, realized his body cam had not activated and he turned it on.

Eby asked Cates if she was aware that her license had been suspended. Cates told Eby that it was not suspended. While explaining to Eby what had happened, KCSO Cpl. Kyle Denton arrived on scene.

Denton began talking with Cates and took over the investigation. Eby completed a warning citation for Cates for unsafe lane movement.

In a second report, filed by Denton, he said after Eby stepped back to his patrol vehicle, Denton continued speaking with Cates about her driver’s license status.

He observed her having bloodshot/watery eyes, slurred speech and he detected the odor associated with an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle. He asked Cates if she had consumed any alcoholic beverage, in which she stated yes, she consumed two beers.

Denton asked Cates if she would perform standardized field sobriety testing and she consented.

The first test administered was horizontal gaze nystagmus. Cates had equal pupil size and tracking and did not have resting nystagmus. She said she does wear contacts but did not have them in. She displayed lack of smooth pursuit in her left and right, distinct and sustained nystagmus maximum deviation and onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees, the report states.

The second test administered was the nine-step walk and turn. Before Denton gave Cates instructions on how the test was to be completed, Denton instructed her to stand with her right foot in front of her left, touching heal to toe and keep her hands down to her side, and to stay in that position until he instructed her to do otherwise. Cates was unable to stay in the position. Denton demonstrated the test, and Cates said she had no questions. Cates did not touch heal to toe on steps 4-9 and stepped off line multiple times. She used arms to balance on the way down to the turnaround spot and took 10 steps. Cates did not turn in the manor instructed. She did not touch heal to toe on steps 2, 6, 7-9 on the way back, used arms to balance and took 10 steps before completing the test.

The third test administered was the one-leg stand. Cates advised she has problems with her left knee, in which Denton asked if she would be able to stand on her right leg during the test. Cates said yes, but she was unable to complete the entirety of the test.

Denton attempted to offer Cates a portable breath test in which she was unable to provide a sample, the report states. He read Cates the Indiana Implied Consent in which she consented to a certified chemical test. Due to Cate’s inability to complete the portable breath test, he offered her a legal blood draw. Sgt. Justin Smith and Eby moves Cates’ vehicle to a nearby business and secured it.

Denton took Cates to Lutheran Kosciusko Hospital to complete the legal blood draw. After the draw, Denton took Cates back to her residence pending the results of the legal blood draw.

Her blood alcohol content came back at 0.20, which is 2.5 times the legal limit in Indiana.