Austintown Middle School teacher facing discipline after DUI charge

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An intervention specialist at Austintown Middle School was charged after police said she was drunk driving and left her young children home. 

Officers arrested Amanda Laird on March 27 after receiving a report that an intoxicated woman was stumbling through the parking lot of GetGo and was dropping beer. A caller reported that the woman got into a black Jeep and left the parking lot, traveling west on Mahoning Avenue. 

Police located the Jeep, reporting that the driver was traveling about 5 to 10 miles per hour in a 35-mph zone and had traveled into the oncoming lane of travel without yielding to traffic.

Laird, the driver, stopped in the driveway of a home on Baker Street, according to a police report.

Police said she quickly grabbed a plastic bag from the car and tried to run toward the back door of the home. Police said instead, she fell into some chairs on the porch.

Police said Laird mumbled that she was home, so “it’s good.”

An officer reported that a neighbor then came outside yelling that officers needed a warrant for being on private property. The woman, Dana Voytko, was arrested on an obstructing charge after police reported that she continued to obstruct their investigation and refused to identify herself.

Police said Voytko was also found with pills for which she did not have a prescription. 

Police said during their investigation, they found that two children, ages 2 and 4, were alone in Laird’s house. Their 11-year-old brother later arrived back home, saying he was at the neighbor’s house. 

A family member was contacted to take custody of the children.

Laird was charged with DUI and endangering children, along with traffic violations. 

According to an Austintown Schools spokesperson, as soon as they learned of the charges, they consulted with the district’s attorneys and the Ohio Department of Education.

The superintendent will meet with Laird and her union representative on Thursday, as part of a contractual obligation. Then, a formal statement will be issued. 

Laird could be placed on leave while her criminal case moves through court. 

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