A Spotsylvania County woman was ordered Monday to serve three years in prison for seriously injuring another motorist while driving drunk earlier this year.

Regina Louise Baker, 42, was sentenced in Spotsylvania Circuit Court to a total of five years, with two years suspended. Judge Ricardo Rigual's sentence exceeded the recommended state sentencing guidelines, which called for a maximum active sentence of two years and a month.

The judge cited Baker's elevated blood-alcohol content at the time of the incident and her prior DUI conviction in 2010 as reasons for going above the guidelines. The evidence showed that Baker had a blood-alcohol content of .29, more than three times the legal limit.

Baker pleaded guilty to DUI-maiming on July 10. She has been in jail since then.

According to prosecutor Jeff Adams, 82-year-old Gladys Armstrong was on Plank Road in the area of Riverbend High School the afternoon of Feb. 4 when Baker's vehicle ran a red light and crashed into the side of Armstrong's car. Armstrong was on her way home from church.

Baker, a local field hockey coach, told police she had been at a nearby bar, where she had consumed two bloody Marys.

Rescue workers had to use the Jaws of Life to pry Armstrong from the wreckage and take her for medical treatment. Among her numerous injuries were seven broken ribs, a broken neck and a broken pelvis and thumb.

She was in intensive care for five weeks and spent time in several facilities before being released on April 15. Court records describe Armstrong as an active and busy woman prior to the accident who now has nothing close to her previous health.

Baker had a number of letters of support from people in the community, especially those associated with her through field hockey. She was represented by attorney Wendy Harris.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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