Renata Byler, third generation of Roller Funeral Homes family, charged in Saline County with DWI


Renata Byler (above) accepting the Family Hall of Fame Award for the Denver Roller Family at the 2015 Arkansas Funeral Directors Association (Photo by AFDA)

December 1, 2016

Renata Llyn Byler, the third generation of the family that owns Roller Funeral Homes, was arrested in Benton shortly after 7 on Tuesday evening when a Saline County Sheriff’s deputy stopped a “blue Chrysler that was swerving all over the road on South Street,” according to the incident report.

Officers at the scene of her arrest seized Ms. Byler’s car “since Byler could not remember where she lived,” Benton Police officer Drew Brown wrote in a supplemental narrative to Arkansas Incident Report 2016-07171. Ms. Byler refused to sign the citation for her arrest and argued with officers, he wrote.

Deputies booked Ms. Byler into the Saline County Jail at 3:29 a.m. Wednesday on charges that she was driving while intoxicated, that she was driving left of center, and that she refused to submit to the Intoximeter test. She was released from the jail at 11:36 a.m.

A Saline County deputy sheriff stopped the car that Ms. Byler was driving, and Benton police officer Alfiya Mills went to the scene after the deputy notified the Benton department.

On the instruction of Officer Mills, Ms. Byler exited her car. “As she was walking to the front of my patrol car, she was stumbling, tripping over her feet, and she had to use her arms for balance … ,” Officer Mills wrote. “I noticed that her speech was slurred. I couldn’t smell any odor of intoxicating beverages on her breath because of the overwhelming odor of her perfume.”

Ms. Byler could not complete the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, which requires the subject to stand with feet together, hands at the side, and follow the trajectory of the tester’s finger without turning her head, Officer Mills wrote. “Ms. Byler was unable to follow my instructions and could not complete the HGN test.”

In the walk-and-turn test, Ms. Byler “had difficulty keeping her balance and could not follow my instruction,” Officer Mills wrote. “Ms. Byler swayed and used her arms for balance.”

After the officer told Ms. Byler how to perform the walk and turn, “she just stood there. I informed Ms. Byler that she could start the test three or four times before she actually began the test.”

The officer gave Ms. Byler a second chance “to have every opportunity to complete the test.”

Officer Brown assisted in the second test to ensure “Byler was given ample opportunity to complete these (sic) test to prove she was not intoxicated,” he wrote.

On her second try, Officer Brown instructed Ms. Byler to remove her one-inch heels in order to improve her balance. “Byler started the test before being instructed and lost her balance several times. Byler began the first nine steps and missed heel to toe on every step. Byler then turned around and began the second nine steps. Byler again missed heel to toe on every step, stepped off line on steps 1, 4, and 5, and used her arms for balance … .”

Officer Brown then administered the One Leg Stand. “Byler lifted her leg and immediately fell to the side and put her foot down. At 12 seconds, she lifted her leg again and immediately put it down … Byler was then arrested for DWI. I placed her in the rear of my vehicle.”

The deputy who stopped Ms. Byler “began the vehicle impound since Byler could not remember where she lived,” Office Brown wrote. “Upon speaking with Byler, I could immediately smell the odor of intoxicating beverages coming from her as well as perfume. I also noticed that Byler’s speech was slurred and her eyes were bloodshot.”

Once Ms. Byler was at the Saline County Jail, she agreed to the breathalyzer test. “Byler would not blow properly the firs two times despite my instructions,” Officer Brown reported. “The third time, Byler was able to complete the test. I instructed Byler to perform the test that way again to complete the Intoximeter. Byler attempted three more times and would not listen to my instructions and continually stopped blowing.

Officer Brown then read to Ms. Byler the notice that the state was suspending her driver’s license.

“Byler was charged with DWI, Refusal to Submit to Test, and Left of Center,” Officer Brown wrote. “When given the citation, Byler would not sign but only wanted to argue with officers.”

Ms. Byler was the subject of a High Profile article in the April 6, 2014, edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In the “self-portait” at the end of the artice, Ms. Byler said that high heels are her favorite article of clothing and that her favorite perfume is Oscar de la Renta. A pet peeve, she said, is the use of “OMG.” “I do not use OMG because I do not take the Lord’s name in vain,” she said, “and when people say that, that’s what they’re thinking, so I always spell it out, ‘Oh, my gosh!'”

She runs at 4 a.m., she told reporter Bobby Ampezann. “That is my prayer time.”

As for another morning activity, Mr. Ampezzan asked: “HOW LONG TO DO YOUR HAIR … ? ‘I can be ready in 20 minutes. I think I can do it in my sleep, and sometimes I think I am asleep when I do it.'”

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