April 14, 2016

Philly nun blames sleeping pill for DUI, crash in Washington Township

Sister Kimberly Miller says she has no recollection of driving, incident or field sobriety tests she reportedly failed

A Philadelphia nun who admits to washing down an Ambien sleeping pill with a glass of wine, then driving to New Jersey, where she crashed into a business, will learn her fate Wednesday morning in Washington Township Municipal Court.

Sister Kimberly Miller, currently on leave from her job as a librarian at Little Flower High School in Philly, reportedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.16 percent and failed several field sobriety tests. The results of the BAC test were tossed by a judge on a technicality.

Miller testified Wednesday that she has no recollection of leaving her convent in North Philadelphia, according to NJ.com.

Nor does she recall driving to New Jersey, the crash where she shattered a glass storefront of a Turnersville auto repair business, being stopped by police or her arrest early on the morning of Nov. 7.

Miller, 41, who, according to NJ.com, said in court that she has suffered from sleepwalking and a dissociative disorder for decades, also testified, "I woke up, and I was in my habit and handcuffs."

She is charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

During a five-hour hearing, the nun, a librarian known for running a popular writing program at Little Flower High School, said that the night she was arrested she had attended a meeting in Haverford about plans for an upcoming event related to the writing program.

Miller said she had two glasses of wine there, returned to the convent, got ready for bed, took the Ambien and had another glass of wine, NJ.com reported.

Miller is on leave from the school. There is an online petition seeking her return.

She testified she had not been warned that Ambien can induce sleepwalking when combined with alcohol. She also testified she takes Ambien because she has chronic arthritis pain.

The prosecution countered by saying there was no proof the nun had taken an Ambien on that occasion.

A judge will announce his findings next Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in Washington Township Municipal Court.

To read the entire NJ.com account, click here.