A nun who spent Tuesday afternoon knocking back too much "Jesus juice" was arrested for drunk driving after plowing into a tree on Long Island. Sister Lauren Hanley, 68, is the "spiritual development director" at Wantagh's St. Frances de Chantal Church, which is where she started drinking around 3 p.m. that day. Some three hours later, she was careening through residential streets in the church's 2006 Toyota Corolla, with a blood-alcohol level of 0.18, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.
Police say she narrowly missed some kids playing Wiffle Ball on their lawn, and one of the children, 14-year-old Samantha Stein, actually attends a Catholic high school run by Hanley's religious order! As Sister Hanley sideswiped a parked car and gunned it up onto the lawn, Samantha yelled to her mother, "Some wacko lady is driving crazy on the lawn!" A neighbor says that after "zigzagging" across two lawns, Hanley drove back onto the street, going against traffic, and crashed into a tree. 11-year-old Alex Stein tells the Post, "They teach us about drinking and driving in school, and to see a nun do it is surprising."
Police found a water bottle filled with liquid that smelled like alcohol in the vehicle. Sister Hanley was unhurt, and released on her own recognizance; she faces a maximum one year in jail if convicted. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice tells reporters, "Miss Hanley holds a position of significant public trust, which makes this disturbing allegation all the more shocking." Yes, let's pray this shocking clerical misconduct is just an isolated incident.