Nicole Chapman is pictured in provincial court in St. John's today. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram
A woman who drove drunk on Halloween night with her child in the car will serve her jail term on weekends.
Nicole Chapman was sentenced to an 89-day intermittent prison term in provincial court in St. John's today. She was also ordered to not drive a car for two years.
The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to five charges, including impaired driving and driving while disqualified, which stem from Oct. 31, 2012.
At around supper time that day, Halloween night, police were contacted by a Child Youth and Family Services employee who had received a call from a concerned citizen. The caller reported seeing open liquor in the woman's car, with her six-year-old on board. The caller said the woman was yelling and cursing at the child.
Police went to Chapman's house and while there, she pulled up in the driveway. Officers noticed she had bloodshot and glassy eyes.
She was arrested and taken to Mount Pearl RNC where her breathalyzer readings were double the legal limit.
She was released with a promise to appear in court.
It was the second time she had been caught driving drunk in less than a year.
On Sept. 2, Chapman was convicted of impaired driving and sentenced to pay a $1,000 fine. She was also given a two-year driving prohibition.
The driving prohibition she was given today will be in addition to the first one issued last year. It means Chapman is not allowed to drive until 2016.
Crown prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre requested a five-month prison term.
Defence lawyer Robin Reid asked for a 2 1/2-month jail term.
But Judge Jim Walsh agreed to allow her to serve her jail term on weekends after she made the request.
When Chapman was given the chance to speak, she apologized for what she did. The mother of a six-year-old and twin two-year-olds, she said she's had a difficult year and turned to alcohol to cope. She said she realizes now that it’s not the answer.
Walsh went along with an intermittent sentence, but told her what she did was dangerous.
"It was Halloween night at supper time," he said. "More than your six-year-old was put at risk. All the other children going around that night were also put at risk."
Chapman also pleaded guilty to theft of $64 worth of merchandise, including batteries and a toothbrush, from Shoppers Drug Mart on Christmas Eve 2012, and two breaches of court orders.
She was kept in jail that night and told the judge she missed being there to see her children opening their Christmas gifts on Christmas morning.