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Lockport woman, 72, pleads guilty to felony DWI

LOCKPORT – A senior citizen pleaded guilty to a felony count of driving while intoxicated Wednesday in State Supreme Court.

But Kathleen M. Kunkel, 72, of Hinman Road, Town of Lockport, will remain in the Niagara County Jail until she proves to Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. that she has sold her car and lined up inpatient therapy for alcoholism. Her sentencing June 28 will depend on the result.

“You’re going to get treated one way or another. You’re going to get it in Albion Correctional (Facility) or you’re going to get it at home,” Kloch told Kunkel, who risks up to four years in state prison.

Kunkel was allowed to settle the case by pleading guilty to one of the two drunken driving incidents for which she had been indicted. She admitted driving drunk July 28 in Royalton, after workers at a dental office called police to report she seemed drunk when she was there. Her blood alcohol reading was 0.14 percent. The other incident occurred Oct. 20, when she was pulled over in the Town of Lockport by an officer who found a bottle of Scotch at Kunkel’s side.