Winona Maria Zolnowski,


A Punta Gorda woman driving under the influence was involved in multiple hit and runs with her 5-year-old daughter in the car before she was arrested by the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, authorities say.

Winona Maria Zolnowski, 24, crashed into a telephone pole and into a car in the parking lot of the The Celtic Ray Public House, the Punta Gorda Police Department said. She left the city of Punta Gorda, and was then found by CCSO deputies around 10 p.m. Friday night.

A CCSO deputy responded to the scene of a crash at an apartment complex in Port Charlotte, on the other side of Peace River from the location of the previous crashes.

The deputy found Zolnowski in her heavily damaged car, two side view mirrors laying on the ground, trying to accelerate the car while its wheels were inoperable and the rims were scraping against the ground, an arrest report said.

The 5-year-old girl told the deputy that “her mommy came from a place in Punta Gorda where she had been drinking,” the report said.

When Zolnowski was transported to the Charlotte County Jail, she was administered a blood alcohol test, which was too high for her to be admitted to the jail. Her breath samples produced blood-alcohol levels of .323 and .318 — about four times the legal limit, states the report. She was taken to Bayfront Health Punta Gorda, while the child was taken care of by somebody known to her.

Zolnowski was arrested on charges of DUI, DUI with damage to property or person of another, driving with a 0.15 or higher or with person under 18 in the vehicle, possession of more than one valid drivers license, willfully abuses a child without causing great bodily harm and leaving the scene of a crash involving property damage.

Zolnowski was bonded out of jail on $13,500 and a criminal arraignment is set for Sept. 14.


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