Philadelphia nun goes on trial on drunken driving charge


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WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A Philadelphia nun facing drunken driving charges says she had a sedative and doesn't remember crashing her car into a New Jersey building.

Sister Kimberly Miller testified Wednesday at her trial in Washington Township that she had a glass of wine and an Ambien before bed but woke up in handcuffs.

Miller, a librarian and theology teacher at Little Flower Catholic School in Philadelphia, was arrested in November after she drove her car into an auto repair shop.

The defense said Miller had an adverse reaction that caused her to drive in her sleep. She didn't know Ambien would have that effect, defense attorney Jeffrey Lindy said.

She said she woke up at the police station after her arrest.

"At first I thought it was a dream because I had handcuffs on. I was in my habit. I'm a nun," she said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Miller, who is charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident, said she sleepwalks and has a dissociative disorder. She said she doesn't remember the incident.

Her actions were against the law regardless of her intentions, prosecutors said.

"You're either under the influence or you're not," prosecutor Scott Burns said, according to NJ.com.

Police said she had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit to drive. But the judge tossed the blood-alcohol test from evidence.

Police also said she had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes and was staggering after leaving her car.

The judge said he would issue a verdict April 20.

Miller has been placed on administrative leave.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia spokesman Kenneth Gavin declined to comment until the case is finished.

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