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Published: Wednesday, 12/21/2005

Columbus mayor s wife gets 3 days in jail for drunken driving


COLUMBUS, Ohio The wife of Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman pleaded guilty today to being drunk when her car hit a parked pickup truck in suburban Bexley in October and a judge sentenced her to three days in jail.

I made a mistake, I ve accepted the consequences and I want to move on with my life. That s all, Frankie Coleman said in Franklin County Municipal Court.

Attorneys for Coleman, 55, had fought the charge, which carries mandatory jail time and was based on a breath test that found she had a blood alcohol level of 0.271 percent more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Judge Scott D. VanDerKarr earlier this month turned down their challenge of the police officer s certification to administer the test, leading to Wednesday s plea.

VanDerKarr suspended 174 days of a 180-day jail sentence and gave her three days credit for a treatment program. He also fined her $250 and suspended her driver s license for six months.

In any high-test case, this is a fairly standard sentence, City Prosecutor Stephen McIntosh said.

She previously pleaded guilty to a second, lesser drunken driving charge stemming from the same accident. That charge does not require jail time and was based on officers observations and sobriety tests at the crash site, and she only could be sentenced on one of the offenses.

Mayor Michael Coleman, who recently dropped out of the gubernatorial race citing family issues, accompanied his wife to the court appearance.

Coleman is required to complete her sentence by March 24.

A message was left today seeking comment from Coleman attorney Mark Serrott.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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