SOUTHINGTON - A Meriden woman who was seriously injured when she drunkenly rolled her car over in 2017 is expected to be sentenced to a year in prison.
Vanessa Volpe, 33, pleaded guilty under the Alford doctrine to charges of operating under the influence as a third offender and operating under suspension because of an alcohol-related offense during a hearing in New Britain Superior Court on Tuesday. An Alford plea means she disputes the allegations but believes there’s a chance she could be convicted at trial.
Court officials said Volpe was scheduled to go to trial before changing her mind and taking a plea deal. She told a judge she did not want to risk a harsher sentence.
Volpe is expected to receive a sentence of three years in prison, suspended after service of one year, which is the minimum mandatory allowed by law for third-offenders, and two years of probation. Her sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 4.
On May 21, 2017, Volpe, driving a 2016 Acura TLX east on Savage Street, left the roadway after entering an intersection and ended up in the front yard of 1307 Meriden Ave., where her vehicle rolled over.
The force from the accident partially ejected Volpe from the car, leaving her trapped underneath it. First responders were able to lift the vehicle enough to rescue the 30-year-old Meriden resident. She was airlifted to Hartford Hospital, where her blood was drawn. Prosecutors said Volpe’s blood alcohol content was 0.28. The legal limit to drive in Connecticut in 0.08.
Prosecutors said Volpe was convicted of DUI in 2012 and again in 2015, making her a third-time offender.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.