A judge said Friday that a Bristol teacher caught driving under the influence on her way to school is dealing with such severe emotional and substance-abuse issues that he ordered her driver’s license suspended for six months, twice as long as usual for a first offender.
“It was early in the morning,” said Magistrate Joseph Ippolito Jr., referring to the 9 a.m. arrest of Kathleen Borgia, 43. “This lady has serious issues with alcohol abuse. The court feels it cannot be dealt with in a three-month period.”
But after Borgia pleaded no contest
to driving under the influence and received her sentence, her lawyer, Michael Egan, said outside the courtroom that she denies drinking alcohol before getting in her car to drive to school
on Sept. 28. Egan said, however, that she had been taking numerous drugs she had been prescribed for psychological problems and for pain from Lyme disease. He said that she has dealt with severe stress for several years related to difficult divorce proceedings and child-custody battles with her husband.
“It’s an unfortunate situation. Obviously, Mrs. Borgia has some serious issues to deal with,” Egan said. “She needs some serious help. The court took that into consideration.”
Borgia was ordered to receive substance-abuse counseling, to perform 10 hours of community service and to pay a $100 fine. In an unusual move, he ordered Borgia to report to the bail department’s pretrial services office to begin a substance-abuse monitoring program.
Borgia, who appeared in court alone yesterday, did not speak other than to enter her plea and to say she understood she was giving up her right to a trial.