Teacher suspended after DWI arrest

A local first-year teacher was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a previous conviction after the passenger wheel came off her vehicle when she was leaving a Columbus liquor store.

Mary Barbara Ream, 56, 16142 E. County Road 735N, Hope, was released from the Bartholomew County Jail after posting $7,500 bond, jail officials said. Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.’s website lists Ream as a math teacher at Columbus Signature Academy – New Tech High School in Columbus.

Larry Perkinson, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. employee and student assistance coordinator, released a statement Monday that Ream was suspended immediately upon confirmation of the failed sobriety tests. The administration plans to recommend non-renewal of her teaching contract, Perkinson said.

Columbus police officers were sent to the area of 25th Street and Taylor Road about a possible intoxicated driver at about 8 p.m. Saturday, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police spokesman.

Officer Lucas Nibarger found a gray Lexus SUV in the roadway that was missing a passenger wheel, Harris said.

When Nibarger spoke with the driver, identified as Ream, he smelled a strong odor of alcohol on her breath, Harris said. Ream failed numerous field sobriety tests and provided a portable breath sample of .219 percent, more than double the legal limit for drinking and driving, police reported.

A half-empty bottle of whiskey and an unopened beer were located in Ream’s purse, Harris said.

Ream was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for a blood sample before being taken to the jail, Harris said.

Court records show Ream entered into a plea agreement in April 2013, agreeing to plead guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated regarding a charge that was filed in Bartholomew County on Feb. 12, 2013, court records show.

A second charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated-endangerment was dismissed as part of the plea bargain, according to court records. As a result of the plea agreement, Ream received a 90-day license suspension and six months probation, as well as paying court and probation fees, court records show.

Efforts to reach Ream were unsuccessful.

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.