Jury disagrees with Knoxville drunk driver’s claim that parked cars hit her

Local News

A Knoxville woman was convicted of drunk driving after a jury disagreed with her claim that several parked cars struck her, instead of the other way around.

District Attorney General Charme Allen’s office says Vanessa Elizabeth Helfant, 38, was convicted of driving under the influence. Her sentencing is set for February 7.

Prosecutors said on March 25, 2017, around 10:30 p.m., Knoxville police received a call about an impaired driver who hit several parked cars on Beaumont Avenue before fleeing the scene. Bystanders followed the car to a home on Sun Valley Road where Helfant parked and walked inside.

Officers knocked on the door, but Helfant called 911 to report that people were knocking on the door. She was eventually taken into custody and admitted drinking half a pint of vodka and smoking half a marijuana blunt.

Because this is her first offense, she faces a sentence of 11 months and 29 days with a minimum of 48 hours in jail. Her license will be suspended for a year and she must attend DUI school and pay a $350 fine.

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