Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Woman sentenced in bike path DUI accident

Former Health and Welfare caseworker gets probation

Express Staff Writer

Kolleen A. Hayden

A Burley woman who crashed her GMC Yukon last summer on the Wood River Trails bike path was sentenced Monday for driving while intoxicated to three years probation and time already served in the Blaine County jail.

Fifth District Court Judge Robert J. Elgee also sentenced 50-year-old Kolleen Hayden to a seven-year suspended prison sentence, fined her $2,5000, revoked her driver's license for one year and ordered her to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse. Hayden pleaded guilty in October to felony DUI. She was charged with a felony because of prior drunk driving convictions in 2001 and 2005 in Cassia County.

Hayden served 102 days in jail following her arrest on July 3 when she crashed her white 1999 GMC Yukon while driving on the bike path just north of St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback said Hayden was "incoherent" when Blaine County Sheriff's investigators arrived at the accident scene at about 4 p.m. He said she had "blacked out" and that she "doesn't know how she got there."

Fredback told the court that Hayden had an open container of vodka in her vehicle and had a blood-alcohol content of .30, which is nearly four times the legal limit of .08.

"She was very lucky that someone wasn't injured or killed," Fredback said.

Defense attorney Keith Roark acknowledged that his client has a drinking problem.

"She fully and freely admits that she has an alcohol addiction problem, that she is an alcoholic," Roark said. "She has had a problem with that for most of her life."

Hayden told the court that she is determined to rid herself of alcohol.

"I am an alcoholic—I've admitted this now," Hayden said. "I've not been driving or drinking. I've been sober for 145 days. I really am ready to change my life and become a productive member of society."

Elgee cautioned the defendant against any further alcohol-related offenses.

"You're on thin ice," the judge said.

Hayden is a former caseworker in Burley for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

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