Micah Gray told the court that she has been under a lot of pressure to find new housing and that, coupled with other stressful events in her life, forced her to drink again.
“I was looking for a place for my son and I to live,” Gray told Judge Timothy Day. “I know I’m an alcoholic and I do well under supervision. I’ve never had a hot PBT. But when the structure is taken away I drink.”
Gray, 34, pleaded guilty last week to felony DUI. It’s her fourth one since 2014, records show.
She told the court that she drank vodka in the parking lot of the Aspens Market on March 27 after a “hard day of work” before driving to town.
Several people called 911 because of Gray’s erratic driving.
“There was a lot of bad driving involved,” Teton County Deputy Prosecutor Clark Allan said.
Police approached Gray in the parking lot of Lucky’s Market, where, they said, she blew a 0.237% on a breath test.
She said she was waiting to pick up her son from day care.
In court Gray said she wasn’t planning to do that.
“I was going to go home and sleep and not think about what was happening,” she said. “He wasn’t due out of day care for hours, and my plan was to have my mom pick him up.”
In Wyoming, if you have three or more DUI convictions the penalties increase.
“Addiction has nothing to do with the character of a person,” defense attorney Elisabeth Trefonas told the court during Gray’s arraignment. “She works very hard and has struggles and stresses that are very real.”
An investigation recommended that Gray attend inpatient rehabilitation.
Judge Day agreed to release Gray from Teton County Jail in order for her to get ready to go to a facility out of state.
“I appreciate you taking responsibility and being accountable by immediately pleading guilty,” Day said. “It’s a scary thing. The most dangerous thing that happens here every single day is DUI. I don’t want to ever have another case where someone is killed by a drunk driver. We’ve had those.”
Day ordered Gray not to drive between her release and rehab and wished her luck on her road to sobriety.
“We don’t fix that by putting people in jail or prison for a long time,” he said. “We try to get people in meaningful recovery. It’s in your favor that despite your dangerous history that you do well in treatment and when you are under supervision.”