AUGUSTA — A 34-year-old Hallowell woman who has helped open a transitional housing facility for recovering drug addicts and has spoken openly about her own struggles was arrested Wednesday on charges of operating under the influence of alcohol and endangering the welfare of a child after police said she crashed a car on Memorial Circle.

Elaina J. George was driving a 2009 Ford Focus north on State Street when she entered the traffic circle and struck a metal fence near the Walgreens Pharmacy on Water Street, according to Sgt. Christian Behr, of the Augusta Police Department. The crash happened just after 4 p.m. Wednesday.

A child was in the car with George, but neither was injured in the crash, which caused about $2,000 in damage to the fence. Police arrested George after testing her for impaired driving, Behr said.

Behr said he couldn’t identify George’s relationship with the child. He said the Maine Department of Health and Human Services was notified after the crash.

George was released Thursday afternoon from the Kennebec County jail in Augusta, after $810 in bail was paid, according to a jail employee.

It wasn’t George’s first drunken driving arrest. Police charged her with operating under the influence of alcohol in February 2013 — at the time, it was her second time being charged with that offense — and she was given a three-year suspended sentence and two years of probation.


Contacted on Facebook this week, George declined a request for an interview. But in the past, she has been open about her struggle with substance abuse.

In mid-2016, George helped open a transitional housing facility for recovering drug addicts on Town Farm Road in Hallowell, through the national organization Oxford House.

That facility now appears to be closed. A call to the national office of Oxford House wasn’t returned immediately. But Larry Davis, who lives on the same street, said it stopped operating about one year ago. The property now is being used as residential apartments.

At the time Oxford House was opening in Hallowell, George — a former nurse — spoke openly with the Kennebec Journal about her past abuse of drugs and alcohol and said that her experience at an Oxford House in Portland had helped her become sober. But she also described her addiction as a lifelong disease and said that her recovery never would be complete.

A couple years after graduating from Messalonskee High School in 2001, George enlisted in the Army. She first started taking prescription painkillers after an injury to her ear drum, she said, and her addiction grew worse in 2011, after her son was born via cesarean section and she was prescribed Vicodin.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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