Teen's sentence includes service, probation in alcohol-related crash One-year jail term suspended in collision that injured two others

October 23, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

An 18-year-old Hampstead college student received a suspended one-year jail sentence yesterday, and must perform 1,000 hours of community service for her role in a drunken-driving accident that injured two Westminster residents.

Tamara Ann Fadoul of the 4400 block of Upper Beckleysville Road pleaded not guilty in Carroll County Circuit Court but agreed not to contest the evidence against her.

Fadoul had been drinking with friends May 9 and was driving someone else's car on Route 97 when she drove head-on into a vehicle driven by Joseph Rohe, said Judson K. Larrimore, a public defender.

Rohe, his daughter Inga, and Fadoul were seriously injured in the crash, and "everyone involved has suffered from this tragedy," Larrimore said.

Fadoul's blood-alcohol level was 0.11, slightly above the legal limit, when she was tested several hours later at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, said prosecutor Laura Kozlowski.

Joseph Rohe, who walks with a limp and uses a cane, spent 10 days at the trauma center for his leg injuries, Kozlowski said.

Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold, who found Fadoul guilty of driving with an alcohol level higher than 0.10, heard testimony from Larrimore and two character witnesses who painted a portrait of a model citizen who made a terrible mistake.

Fadoul was an honor student at North Carroll High School and attends Carroll Community College. She wants to be an elementary school teacher, Larrimore said.

Ronald Schroers, Westminster's supervisor of recreation, called Fadoul excellent with children.

Larrimore also presented letters written on behalf of Fadoul by several teachers at North Carroll High School and at least two other part-time employers. Each praised her good character and work ethic.

"I was as shocked as anyone when I heard about [her drunken driving]," Schroers said.

After hearing tearful statements from Inga Rohe and Fadoul, Arnold said judges wrestle with these types of cases every day, "and a solution has not been found. Good people kill good people [on the highways] all the time."

Arnold said he disagreed with an evaluation that called Fadoul "a social drinker." He said a person under age 21 is not a social drinker.

"It was not a mistake," he said. "She chose to drink and drive."

Arnold said the defendant and the victims are fortunate to be alive, but their lives have been changed forever.

"Will jail do any good?" he asked. "Apparently this is a first and only offense. not a normal course of conduct."

Fadoul stood, dabbing her eyes with a tissue, as Arnold suspended the one-year jail term.

He placed Fadoul on 48 months of probation, to be supervised by the drinking and driving monitor program.

While on probation, Fadoul must abstain from drugs and alcohol, submit to random screening and complete the New Life alcohol-treatment program. She also must enroll in the Reality Program, attend one Alcoholics Anonymous meeting each week for at least six months, and perform the equivalent of 25 40-hour weeks of community service.

Pub Date: 10/23/98

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