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Cops: Darien Mom Drove Drunk With Her Kids in SUV

The woman's blood-alcohol content, as reported by Norwalk police was close to three times the legal limit in Connecticut.

A Darien woman was charged with drunken driving Tuesday evening after her daughter called a friend to say she was in her mother’s SUV in Norwalk and her mother was intoxicated, police said.

After receiving the 15-year-old’s call and learning the location of the vehicle, the female friend called Norwalk Police at 7:53 p.m.

Officers located the tan Lexus 350 in a parking lot off Grandview Avenue near Jefferson Science Magnet Elementary School.

They reported the 15-year-old was in the front passenger seat and her 11-year-old sister in the back seat, and both were upset.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Cotto said officers reported the woman, later identified as Kathryn A. Sullivan, had the smell of alcohol on her breath and her eyes were glassy.

Cotto said Sullivan initially told the officers she had two drinks, but later said she might have had four drinks.

Sullivan failed a three-part field sobriety test, Cotto said, and was transported to Police Headquarters. There, Sullivan’s blood alcohol content was tested twice, with the first test resulting in a measurement of 0.237 percent and the second 0.226 percent.

A driver with a blood alcohol content at or above 0.08 percent is considered under the influence of alcohol.

The woman who Sullivan’s daughter called earlier came to headquarters to pick up her and her sister.

Sullivan, 44, of Holmes Court, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, two counts of risk of injury to a minor, and driving an uninsured vehicle.

She was held on $1,500 bond and given a court date of March 7.

Editor's notes: This article originally was published by Norwalk Patch. This article was updated at 7:07 p.m. Wednesday to add the time of the call to police: 7:53 p.m. On Darien Patch, this article originally was published Wednesday. The timestamp has been changed for layout purposes on the Home page of Darien Patch.

jim jespersen February 28, 2013 at 02:53 PM
David: For the kid's sake, please take down the photo.
Michael Brennan February 28, 2013 at 02:57 PM
If she was driving drunk and killed a family member of yours would you care if her picture was published? It's called a deterrent. She may be a nice person but she made a mistake and mistakes have consequences - isn't that what we teach our children?
David Gurliacci (Editor) February 28, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Reporters don't report on people close to them, and the kind of standard you're suggesting isn't the right one. Your statement "to teach the town a lesson" is creative.
David Gurliacci (Editor) February 28, 2013 at 03:06 PM
The name has more effect on privacy than the photo possibly could. There's no way Patch would hide the name. I don't see how the picture violates the privacy of the kids in any significant way.
Liz Mao February 28, 2013 at 04:02 PM
In the mid-2000s a woman with an alcohol level less than the cited amount here killed three people driving the other way when she crossed a yellow line with her car. This person was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter and is serving a lengthy prison term. We should all give our thanks to the daughter for preventing another accident and hope that the driver gets the help she needs. Drinking and driving is never ok.
sebastian dangerfield February 28, 2013 at 04:57 PM
I think the people who are concerned with the kids, may need to more appropriately analyze who is harming those nice kids. It's one thing to have a couple of drinks, and drive your kids around--it's quite another to be nearly comatose. I suggest that those who are mad at the reporter , the next time you go out, bring a breathalyzer (you can get them at drug stores or even costco)-- after you've been out an hour, blow into it. Having a couple of drinks may bring it to .6. This woman is 3- 4 times that--and there is a time laspse between police arriving and actually adminsitering test. The math would suggest that a person with .23 has had 5-8 drinks in a hour. Anyone who has ever worked in an emergency room, on an ambulance, etc will tell you that drinking and driving has fatal results. If you think the article is the big problem here--I think you all are out of your mind
Disappointed with this article February 28, 2013 at 05:34 PM
( to the writer of this story) I am one of the kids and this article affects us because there's something called privacy and you crossed the line. This also effects us because there's a thing called reading and some people read this and then it makes me feel uncomfortable when I go back to school and people give me weird looks and I am embarrassed. Please take this down. Obviously whoever wrote this doesn't know what privacy is and doesn't have a heart. Please take this down ~ sincerely a very angry and embarrassed child.
Beth February 28, 2013 at 06:09 PM
First I want to say I'm so sorry this happened to you and I understand how difficult this is having it in the news and having your friends see it. But listen to me when I tell you, this might be the best thing that could happen to your mom, and in the process, you. Many years ago I was you. I was a young kid riding in the car with my mother, who was often drunk. I never called anyone to tell them. My mom never got arrested. She continued to drink, and now she's dead. None of us would talk about her alcoholism, it was totally off limits. We all acted like didn't exist and that everything was ok. It wasn't ok, and and she continued to drink until she literally drank herself to death. I know how painful this is, but think about how painful it will be if in the coming years she continues to drink and ends up dead before you're 30. That I guarantee will be more painful that having to go through this, and maybe this will be enough to wake her up and see what she is doing, not only to herself but to her children and get help. And maybe, hopefully, your story will have a different ending than mine.
Edmund Burke February 28, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Beth, Amen
Jebediah Floydenhensinger February 28, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Greetings - Whenever someone gets a DUI, their picture and or name is posted on various forms of news platforms; this is no exception. I feel sorry for what this family has to go through, but just because this woman has children, doesn't mean she should be exempt from having her name and picture posted. The quality of students at MMS has absolutely NOTHING to do with this arrest. Actually, you just exposed them even more than before, because I had no idea what school these children went to. From now on, if anyone in town with children, wives, fathers, mothers, or any relative in town gets arrested, their name and picture should be excluded from any paper. Only people who are lonely and have no family in town should have their names exposed so "maybe their families won't be embarrassed." Do you think Adam Lanza's name and picture should have been removed from the TV because it might embarrass his family? NO. News is news, good and bad. Bottom line is, if you don't want your name and picture broadcasted on the news, don't violate the law. This woman drove with alcohol in her system 3x the legal limit, with her kids in the car. It is her fault, not the news. Let's quit placing blame on Patch, and revert it to the criminal. She brought this upon herself, and SHE is the one bringing her kids embarrassment, not this article. Thank you, Bye
Siwanoy February 28, 2013 at 06:23 PM
agreed. I also think that its on us as a population to decide how we each respond to this. Some might look at this as her being a bad mom etc, others will look at is we are all human, and we all have made some dumb decisions, and while its wrong what she did, none of us are perfect.
David Gurliacci (Editor) February 28, 2013 at 06:25 PM
READERS SHOULD NOTE, first, that no one knows who has created a Patch user account to comment on an article. I ask readers to assume that it is not from the daughter. I'm going to keep this comment up because it raises important points and has generated an important response (which would be difficult to understand without the original content). Also, I'm also going to change the comment control settings for this article: Starting immediately, no comment will appear here without prior approval from an editor (usually me). No further comments will be posted here from anyone claiming to be a member of the family.
David Gurliacci (Editor) February 28, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Starting immediately, no comment will appear here without prior approval from an editor. No comments will be pubished here by anyone claiming to be a member of the family.
sebastian dangerfield February 28, 2013 at 06:29 PM
david i agree Unless things have changed drastically recently, i know my teenage kids would never call themselves a child.
David Gurliacci (Editor) February 28, 2013 at 06:41 PM
I've removed the quote from the article.
Siwanoy February 28, 2013 at 09:36 PM
what will the criteria be for posts that either don't or will get posted?
Baffled Resident March 01, 2013 at 12:56 AM
For all of those who are castigating the editor for this article, you should also note that the accused was driving without insurance, in addition to being grossly intoxicated. Had this individual wreaked carnage with her vehicle, the victims would have been SOL in recovering damages from Sullivan. I have no empathy for the lady.
MAC March 01, 2013 at 03:08 AM
BW, drof DP and Holly, please get a clue. Any parent with such lousy judgment--to put her children's (and others') LIVES at risk, never mind being such a terrible example (of being drunk on a weeknight, and driving that way!) must have drastic action taken to force her to get help! If it takes shaming her, by publishing her photo, then publish away, Patch, and CTPost, etc.!! In my book the daughter is a hero, and there is no way this woman is a "wonderful wife and mother" (BV's words) to put her children in such danger! She must be an alcoholic, to be drinking so much on an evening when she has responsibilities with her children! Very sad for those daughters.
sebastian dangerfield March 01, 2013 at 06:22 AM
mom-in -town So you can decide for yourself. But I do think that Patch does the town a service in this case. You obviously know this woman. And you like her and her family. So, I understand the concept of defending her. However-do you really think it would be fair for people not to understand the lack of responsibility this woman exhibits? Do you think its fair that at some point in the next week she may be picking up your kids, and not be able to see straight? You really think that the best way to handle this is to keep it quiet and not allow people to be fully apprised of the danger that exists if she picks your kid up on some random week night? I sometimes think that some people have no idea how dangerous drinking and driving is. Lots of people do it--but huge HUGE difference between .06 and .16 let alone 0.23 BAC = .225-.30 = Drinkers display general inertia, near total loss of motor functions, little response to stimuli, inability to stand or walk, vomiting, and incontinence. Drinkers may lose consciousness or fall into a stupor. Do you wonder why the daughter was scared? Wake up and realize the seriousness of this.
max March 01, 2013 at 01:23 PM
Your assumptions are not accurate. Embarrassment is something you bring on yourself. So is pride and I think you should focus on pride. I know more than one person proud that you took it upon yourself to make several right choices. You recognized the situation as dangerous. You thought offbeat resolution and you acted on your belief. You come out a hero in this story. If you mom was drunk once or all the time does ot really matter how people perceive you. Yu actions are what people will judge you on and I think you should be proud.
Shredder March 01, 2013 at 01:43 PM
"Display general inertia." Wow. Just wow.
R. Reagan March 01, 2013 at 02:03 PM
dangerfield, sounds like you have Mrs Sullivan, tried and convicted! Ever hear of innocent until PROVEN guilty?
Sandra March 01, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Siwanoy- I have been asking that same question. Don't hold your breath. "He's thinking about it"
Nance March 01, 2013 at 03:03 PM
There are children involved and the picture serves NO purpose, take it down. This is not a kind article, it is hurtful to more than just the mother. Any child in a similar situation will now think twice before calling the police due to the publicity these poor kids have had to endure. Take it down, this could be your kids.
sebastian dangerfield March 01, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Reagan Yeah I have heard of it. Thanks. I ve heard of stalking as well. When someone is that drunk--I can form an opinion. Im not on the jury--maybe you dont understand that the brain has the ability to reason. I think the human brain is different than an insects brain--and when your daughter is so afraid that she calls someone out of fear--and the woman blows 2 readings of above .2 Im gonna take that leap. You can determine that she is innocent--I couldnt give a rats.
sebastian dangerfield March 01, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Nance Does this treatment make you think twice about drinking and driving?
Zooted On March 02, 2013 at 12:45 PM
JUST CAUSE SHE'S FROM A RICH TOWN OF DARIEN WE SHOULDN'T SHOW HEE PICTURE? BUT NY FRIEND FROM NORWALK GETS A PUBLIC INTOXICATION WALKING HOME IN DARIEN AND EVERYONE IN DARIEN COMMENTS ON TBE ARCTICLE ABOUT EXPOSING HIM AND MAKING AN EXAMPLE OUT OF HIM
Zooted On March 02, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Let her get her picture and quotes like everyone else who gets arrested
Dave March 03, 2013 at 02:15 PM
I find it interesting that you picked this story up from Norwalk but missed reporting on the Darien man who was arrested in a massage parlor with "his pants down" last week in Stamford. Seems unfair to highlight a mother's poor judgement while ignoring a fathers. I personally think neither should be reported as the arrest themselves are enough of a wake up call for the families who are trying to put their lives back together. Another useful way to report this might have been to highlight how brave the daughter was for calling 911. It was likely the hardest thing she will ever do in her life. This front page humiliation of her mother may keep her and others from doing it. So not sure it served a purpose this time and thumbs down for picking on the mom and giving the massage parlor dad a pass - inconsistent policy.
noroton mom March 04, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Dave, You seriously don't have a sense of what's important and what's not. The Darien dad who were arrested in a message parlor would be a perfect NY Post Page Six "news". As a mom of young kids, I cannot care less about a local dad having his pants down in Stamford! But a drunk mom driving an SUV loaded with kids is VERY dangerous to everyone in her car and others on the road. We should be thankful no one was hurt in this incident. I wonder for those who object this mug shot being published had objected any published drunk drivers' mug shots in the past. Darien Moms - if you are her neighbors and friends, please help her to get help! Don't just pretend that your life and your marriages are perfect. Sorry kids, I understand your anger and embarrasment. This is one of these incidents when life and your parents are not perfect. Let's not assume everything can be easy (tho in Darien kids tend to believer that). You are better equip to overcome difficult situations in the future!

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