Driver accused of drunken crashes


Correction: Volpi was released on the condition she not drive without a valid license. The article had been updated since it was first published.

BENNINGTON -- A McKinley Street woman who police witnessed hit a parked car is facing charges that she was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Sarah E. Volpi, 43, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to a first offense of driving under the influence of alcohol, and two counts of leaving the scene of a crash with property damage. She was released on the conditions she not drive without a valid license, or consume alcohol.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Benjamin Lackey, on Aug. 10 at 12:35 a.m. he was dispatched to Beech Street near Evergreen Drive where a person reported a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road that had then driven up onto the curb and nearly hit the caller.

Lackey found the vehicle and got behind it at it went down the road to Gage Street. He saw it hit another vehicle's mirror with its own, and then he pulled the car over.

Per the affidavit, the inside of the car smelled strongly of alcohol, and Volpi, the driver, admitted to having a few drinks but did not know how many. She said she was looking for her nephew, and handed over her license, insurance, and pieces of paper she thought was her registration but were not.

Volpi gave a breath sample showing her blood alcohol content to be .183 percent.

Police noted scrape marks, red paint, and the remains of some kind of plant stuck to the side of Volpi's vehicle. In the daylight, Lackey found a broken red fence on Evergreen Drive near some bushes that looked like what had been found on Volpi's vehicle. He estimated the damage to the fence at $200, and the same for the vehicle Volpi allegedly hit.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.


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