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Driver testifies at drunk driving sentencing in Surrey

12/18/2012 03:05 EST | Updated 02/17/2013 05:12 EST
A woman who plead guilty to killing another woman in a drinking and driving collision testified at her own sentencing hearing in Surrey Provincial Court this morning.

Natasha Warren, 35, pleaded guilty to drunk driving in the death of Kassandra Kaulius, 22, in May 2011. The charges were dangerous driving causing death, failing to stay at the scene and driving with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.08.

On Tuesday morning, Warren testified on her own behalf, saying she would change places with Kaulius if she could, and she plans to speak to students about drinking and driving one day.

Earlier in the morning Warren's mother Shelley told the court there were no words to describe what she was feeling. She then looked in the direction of the Kaulius family and said, "Sorry."

The apology followed an emotional day in court on Monday when Kaulius's family choked back tears as they read victim impact statements. At one point, Kaulius's father Victor left the court room, struggling to catch his breath.

The court learned Warren had consumed a bottle and a half of wine before she got into her van to drive home that night. The vehicle was travelling at 103 km/h when it collided with Kaulius's car in the Surrey intersection.

The court heard how she called her boyfriend, who told her to take the keys from the van and run from the scene so they could report the vehicle stolen.

Warren fled the scene and was later found in the bushes by police with a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit for driving.

Crown prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Warren to three and a half years in prison, while her lawyer asked for a sentence of two years and one month, plus driving prohibitions.

The sentencing hearing wrapped up on Tuesday afternoon and the judge is expected to hand down a sentence on Dec. 28.

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