Police: With two children in car, woman was drunk before crash - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Police: With two children in car, woman was drunk before crash

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LEDYARD, CT (WFSB) -

A woman faces charges after police said she had been driving drunk with her two children in her car.

Police said they were called to Route 117, also known as Center Groton Road, in Ledyard on Tuesday night for a report of a two-vehicle crash.

Elizabeth Whipple, 29, was arrested following an investigation.

She crossed the center line and struck a car driven by John Hobert, according to police.

Investigators said she was drunk and had managed to avoid using an ignition interlock device, which had been installed on her car. Police said they believe she used one of her children to blow into the machine to get her car started.

Whipple was charged with operating under the influence, failure to drive right, avoidance of or tampering with ignition interlock device and risk of injury to a minor.

The way the ignition interlock devices work is the driver must blow into on to get his or her car started. It won't turn on if the driver is intoxicated.

"It makes you sad. Be concerned for her children or any child in a situation like that, for being put at risk," said Ledyard police Lt. Michael Finkelstein, who added that the woman was arrested and refused to take a breathalyzer test.

Eyewitness News has learned that Whipple has two prior convictions for similar cases and has served jail time in the past.

Department of Motor Vehicle officials said she failed a sobriety test once, refused a breathalyzer twice, and has one DUI conviction.

Last July she was required to install an ignition interlock device for one year, and according to Whipple's driving record, she has had eight violations.

Each one of those violations adds an extra 30 days that she has to drive around with that device.

Police said she was released on a $10,000 bond and was set to face a judge on July 10.

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