Popsicle driver avoids jail on DUI


MILFORD, Conn. (AP) – There won’t be any time in the cooler for a woman accused of driving her ice cream truck while drunk.

Susan Bottacari, 45, of Milford, was pulled over in May 2006 after being seen driving erratically and nearly striking a security guard at the Southport Brewing Co. parking lot, police said.

A Superior Court judge has allowed her to enter an alcohol education program that would result in the drunken-driving charge being dismissed if she attends classes for a year and stays out of trouble.

State prosecutors strongly objected to Bottacari getting the program.

“It was serious. A person who’s driving an ice cream truck shouldn’t be driving drunk and, if they do, they shouldn’t get the (education program),” Assistant State’s Attorney Melanie Cradle said.

this week.

Bottacari’s license to sell ice cream was pulled after her arrest last year and she has not applied for a new one, police said. Her driver’s license was also suspended for six months.

When police stopped Bottacari, they said she almost fell out of her truck. She refused an alcohol test. Authorities said they found an unopened vodka bottle in a cooler in the truck.

Peter Stark, Bottacari’s lawyer, declined to comment. There is no listing for her home phone number.

Bottacari had been driving an ice cream truck in Milford since 1993 and was in the process of renewing her license when she was arrested, officials said. She was already on a form of probation for a narcotics possession charge when she was charged with drunken driving, the New Haven Register reported.

Information from: New Haven Register, http://www.ctcentral.com

AP-ES-07-18-07 1233EDT