Woman who drove drunk on Halloween with child onboard, to serve jail term on weekends

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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.

Organizations: Child Youth and Family Services, Shoppers Drug Mart on Christmas Eve 2012

Geographic location: St. John's

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Recent comments

  • marge
    March 14, 2013 - 23:52

    AS I READ This I can't help but get sick to my stomach,How can she do this to her little children. Does she realize how lucky she was to beable to have kids.That's alway's the way,Here I am longing and wishing I had kids and some piece off garbage like her get's to have them. I would take so good care of them and love them till the day I die,I sure wouldn't put the kids in any danger. Please think about it lady,If you can't and won't take care of them Give them to someone else that will make there life special and a loving and caring home.

  • rick
    March 14, 2013 - 20:07

    She should be made to stand on the busiest street corner in town with a big sign around her neck saying i endangered my kids lives while driving them drunk during Halloween night.

  • dan
    March 14, 2013 - 16:14

    Well First off I have to say that the court and the judge are a joke and maybe they should join her on weekends. If this was a man, he would have been ordered to jail. this is just another way that a woman can play the court system with the lives of her and our children. I guess the next that commits a murder can choose monday's since there not much on TV.

  • Blair
    March 14, 2013 - 15:26

    Our justice system is shot and is simply not working. The judge did not even accept the greater penality requested by her own lawyer. Who is being protect here and what kind of mesage does this send out. It is ironic that the police and organizations such as MADD take drunk driving so seriously only to have the courts make an almost mockery of it. Recent sentencing of imparied drivers causing death has lump the Canada Parole Board among those agencies who do not support the problem of impaired driving. Brian Tobin's son Jack following an impaired driving causing death charge spent a meager 7 months in prison. This is a joke and a farce..

  • concerned Parent
    March 14, 2013 - 13:56

    Where are the kids now? are they still with their mother after she put her oldest in danger. whats to say that she will not do the same again. makes me sick to think that these poor children have to grow up in this atmosphere.

  • MESS
    March 14, 2013 - 13:55


  • Ginger
    March 14, 2013 - 13:50

    So....you mean to tell me she got to pick and chose when she wanted to do time? Does she get to pre order her meals as well? Seriously....she not only endangered her childs life..but OURS too--the rest of the little children out that evening!!! Put her away and take her licence-for good!!! Not to mention her parenting rights-what the heck?

  • Nick
    March 14, 2013 - 13:22

    And she was blessed with the gift of having children!! Things like this I don't understand. What a piece of work.

  • Islander
    March 14, 2013 - 13:09

    I hope CYFS are doing follow up with this woman as apparently she is not fit to raise kittens let alone children.

  • Suzanne
    March 14, 2013 - 12:50

    Weekends? Are you kidding me? What this woman has done is very dangerous...she obviously had no regard for herself, her children or the public! Where's the lesson to be learned from a slap on the wrist like serving weekends for this serious crime? She needs rehabilitation on top of serious punishment! Her precious children will pay the price for this....imagine yelling and cursing at a six-year-old child....disgusting!

  • Dan
    March 14, 2013 - 12:45

    Poor children is right. Should be taken away from her. Plenty of loving people out there to give these kids a good upbringing. Being in the custody of this woman isn't going to give them a fair shake at all.

  • Kels
    March 14, 2013 - 12:17

    She should have been charged with child endangerment.

  • tom
    March 14, 2013 - 11:38

    Through her in jail full time. Second time in a year? Kid in the car? What is the weekend stuff - get harder on these repeat offenders... imagine if she had knocked down a bunch of kids on Halloween? She could have...

  • Observer
    March 14, 2013 - 11:30

    A six-year old and twin two- year olds. Pity those poor kids..........