четверг, 20 сентября 2012 г.

SKATER BAIUL REQUESTS ALCOHOL PROGRAM.(SPORTS) - Albany Times Union (Albany, NY)

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Olympic figure skating champion Oksana Baiul applied Monday for admission to an alcohol education program in hopes of having a drunken driving charge against her dropped.

Baiul, 19, regrets her conduct, realizes she made a mistake and is ``determined to never let it happen again,'' said Paul Collins, one of her lawyers, following her brief appearance in Superior Court.

Most of the docket had been cleared by the time Baiul arrived at the courthouse with her three lawyers during the lunch recess.

Wearing a black leather coat over a ski sweater, she took a seat in a bench near the back of the courtroom with one of her attorneys. Reporters filled the three front rows. Her name was the first called when the afternoon session began.

Looking straight ahead, Baiul answered questions from Judge Terence Sullivan but did not discuss her actions early Jan. 12, when she ran her Mercedes off the road while driving an estimated 97 mph.

She suffered a concussion and needed 12 stitches in her scalp after driving her car into a cluster of trees in Bloomfield. Ari Zakarian, a fellow skater who was a passenger, was left with minor injuries.

A hospital report obtained by The Associated Press a day after the crash showed Baiul's blood-alcohol level was .168 percent, well above the state limit of .10 percent. Baiul also is two years under the legal drinking age.

Baiul, a Ukrainian who lives in the Hartford suburb of Simsbury, is charged with drunken driving and reckless driving.

She did not enter a plea Monday, and is not required to enter one before the judge rules on her application for admission into the education program.