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Sandston, Virginia convicted of third DUI and child endangerment

A judge has found a Sandston-area woman guilty of driving under the influence and other charges after hearing evidence of an August 21 car accident. Authorities accused the woman of driving through a fence and driving into a tree, then leaving the damaged car at her home and walking over to a friend's house. Police say that the 32-year-old woman left her 14-year-old daughter at the scene of the crash. The daughter reportedly called her father for a ride.

When the woman arrived at the friend's house, the friend says the Henrico County woman said that she had been in an accident and drank a beer. Police claim that the woman was drinking a second beer at the friend's house when police arrived.

Ultimately, the woman was charged with DUI-third offense and child endangerment. The woman was also accused of possessing alcohol in violation of a court order prohibiting her from drinking or possessing alcohol.

Law enforcement did not have any blood tests, and the woman apparently was not given field sobriety tests. Police say that when the approached the woman-who was drinking a beer at the friend's house-she smelled of alcohol.

The woman's daughter apparently says that on the day of the crash, she believed that her mother may have been under the influence, but the daughter did not smell alcohol in the car. However, prosecutors claim that the Henrico County woman had spoken to her mother on the phone from the jail after her arrest. Authorities claim that the woman told her mother on the phone that she had been drinking before waking her daughter up that day.

The judge found the woman guilty and set sentencing for March. The woman remains in jail and faces up to 10 years in prison.

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Henrico mother faces up to 10 years in 3rd DUI," Bill McKelway, Dec. 14, 2012

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