Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen reports that Michelle D. Cole (DOB 6/26/1969) of Lake George, NY, was sentenced Friday, January 21, 2021 by Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy, III following Cole’s conviction by a trial jury on September 16, 2021 of Driving While Intoxicated in violation of Vehicle & Traffic Law Section 1192(3), a class “D” Felony, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the First Degree, in violation of section 511(3)(a) of the Vehicle & Traffic Law, a class “E” Felony, as well as Failure to Submit to a Breath Test in violation of section 1194(1)(b) of the Vehicle & Traffic Law, a traffic infraction.
Cole’s conviction stems from an incident in the City of Saratoga Springs on February 24, 2020. Around 2:51pm on that date, after receiving a call for a welfare check, Cole was found by a Saratoga Springs Police Officer unconscious behind the wheel of a Chevy Suburban while parked in the parking lot of The Adirondack Trust Company on South Broadway. The evidence presented at trial proved that Cole operated a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition and that she also drove that day while her drivers’ license was revoked due to a prior alcohol-related driving conviction.
District Attorney Heggen noted that “The facts of this case, coupled with the defendant’s many convictions for alcohol-related driving offenses, called for an appropriate state prison sentence.” As noted at sentencing by trial attorney Assistant District Attorney Rachael Phelan and echoed by Judge Murphy, this conviction was the defendant’s seventh alcohol-related driving conviction. Heggen observed “The prosecution of this case was important because Cole continued to re-offend, and the need to protect society from such individuals is substantial”. Heggen praised the thorough presentation by ADA Phelan at trial and the work of the Saratoga Springs Police Department who put together a solid case that proved the defendant operated her motor vehicle that day in February, 2020 while intoxicated.
Defendant Cole was sentenced by Judge Murphy to an indeterminate term of incarceration in a state correctional facility of 1 2/3-6 years on the Driving While Intoxicated conviction and indeterminate term of incarceration in a state correctional facility of 1 1/3-4 years on the Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor vehicle conviction. Those terms of incarceration were directed to run concurrently. She was sentenced to a conditional discharge for the Failure to Submit to a Breath Test conviction. Cole is also subject to a mandatory drivers’ license revocation and sentenced to a conditional discharge which requires her to install an ignition interlock device.