A woman who worked to raise awareness about the dangers of driving while intoxicated after a drunken driver killed her brother was arrested early Monday on DWI charges.
Chelsea Breen, 22, of Watervliet, crashed her car into a tree while texting, Colonie police said.
The officer who responded to the scene said Breen had “impaired coordination” and smelled of alcohol. A blood-alcohol test showed she was heavily intoxicated, with a blood-alcohol content above 0.18 percent.
Because of the high level, she was charged with aggravated DWI, which includes a mandatory one-year license revocation upon conviction. She was also charged with texting while driving.
She was not injured in the accident.
As a high school student, Breen worked on a project to discourage drunken driving after her brother Anson’s death.
She and her mother, Darlene Breen, worked with Linda Campion, whose daughter Kathleen was killed by a drunken driver in 1989. Campion wanted to collect shoes for a traveling exhibit, with each pair of shoes representing a victim of DWI.
Breen and her fellow classmates at Colonie Central High School donated hundreds of pairs of shoes for the project. Breen said at the time that she organized the shoe donations as a way to get her fellow students to stop and listen to the consequences of driving drunk.
Anson Breen was killed in 2006 when the car in which he was riding crashed into a tree forcefully enough to nearly bend it in half. He was declared dead at the scene. The driver, Thomas Lafore, had serious internal injuries, but recovered.
He pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and served nearly five years in prison. He was released March 18, 2011, according to the state Department of Corrections.
Police said alcohol and the snow-covered roadway were both factors in the crash.