HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A Roman Catholic nun who serves as spiritual development director of a church in the New York suburbs has been charged with driving while intoxicated.
Investigators say Sister Lauren Hanley, 68, had a blood alcohol level of .18 when she crashed into a tree Tuesday in Wantagh on Long Island, Newsday reported. She had just left St. Frances de Chantal Church in Wantagh.
Hanley, who was released without bail, pleaded not guilty during a court appearance Friday in Hempstead. She faces up to a year in prison if she is convicted.
Police said Hanley had a water bottle containing gin in the car and admitted sipping from it while she was at work.
Just before she hit the tree, Hanley narrowly missed a group of children, the New York Post reported.
"We pray that the Lord gives her strength to endure this difficult time," the diocese of Rockville said in a statement.