Sister Lauren Hanley, 68, who works at St. Frances de Chantal Church in Wantagh, Long Island, has been arrested for drunk driving. According to authorities, she had twice the legal limit for alcohol in her system and was charged with driving while intoxicated and aggravated driving while intoxicated. Prosecutors and police say a plastic bottle with some liquor was found in the nun’s car after she crashed her church-issued vehicle into a tree in Wantagh at around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. This certainly isn’t news the Rockville Centre Diocese wants to hear, much less Pope Benedict XVI.

She reportedly told authorities she had been drinking at the church since 3 p.m. that day.
Sister Lauren Hanley was released into her own custody and is due back in court Friday. The diocese issued a statement saying, “we pray that the Lord gives her strength to endure this difficult time.” Driving under the influence is a very serious offense and should not be treated with a slap on the wrist. I don’t know what problems may have driven this nun to turn to the bottle, but I do hope she gets the help she needs. Too many lives are lost by the actions of drunk drivers and this behavior cannot be ignored, but there should be zero tolerance to offenders.

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