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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Texting and driving is never a good thing, especially if you’ve been drinking. A New Hanover County teacher admitted she was doing at least of those things when she hit a van last week. Highway Patrol says she was doing the other.

The Highway Patrol says Theresa Suzanne Jones-Carpenter was just one of 81 weekend DWI arrests in the Cape Fear region. What makes her case unique is that the 36-year-old is a teacher at Castle Hayne Elementary School.

It was early Friday morning when a trooper says Jones-Carpenter rear-ended a van pulling into a parking lot off Dawson Street in Wilmington. On his report, Highway Patrol Sgt. C.M Hardee wrote, “The first thing she said was I was texting and didn’t see him… I feel stupid.” Hardee continued, “I could smell alcohol.”

According to the report, in her first breath test Jones-Carpenter blew a point 0.13, followed by a point 0.12, which is well over the legal limit of 0.08. She is charged with DWI, texting while driving and failure to reduce speed.

We went to Jones-Carpenter’s Wilmington home to try and get a comment, but she was not there.

In Castle Hayne, parents whose children go to the school where Jones-Carpenter works, did not want to go on camera, but said the teacher is entitled to her private life despite her public position.

Paperwork shows that Jones-Carpenter was slurring her speech after the crash, had red glossy eyes and a strong odor of alcohol on her breath. The trooper says she also had a bloody lip from the accident.

Jones-carpenter, who is listed as Suzanne Carpenter on the school’s website, was booked into the New Hanover County Jail just after 4 a.m. Friday, which is about four hours before the school day started at Castle Hayne.

A school district spokeswoman says that no personnel action has been taken yet and that administrators are looking into what happened. There’s no word yet on whether Jones-Carpenter missed work Friday or the two school day since. Today is the first day of winter break for the district.

Jones-Carpenter is due in court February 14.

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142 Comments on "FIRST ON 3: Teacher admitted texting, blew 0.13 after school-night crash"

2015 years 9 months ago

to write your blog or reply. Then use the spell check and grammar tool. Then cut, copy and paste. Now you look like a scholar and educated person! Plus OpenOffice is free!

Old Guest
2015 years 9 months ago

The incident occurred at 12:15 a.m., according to the trooper who made the arrest. Does school start at 4:15 a.m., genius??? Get off your high horse, and pray to God you never make the slightest mistake…

2015 years 9 months ago

K-blue, I’m your friend, believe that it’s true. Let me help with some editing before your detractors do. A roll may be a list, like a list of students in a class. It may mean to turn over and over. It may also mean a “bun” in the north or what a chair does when you push with your feet while sitting on your

A role is an expected behavior in a social context.

2015 years 9 months ago

Yes we all make mistakes – defined as “to blunder in a choice or make an error in something” but then we can make stupid mistakes ‘ defined as “the state of being foolish and unintelligent”. She did not make a mistake – she showed utter stupidity. She chose to drink and drive and then text, which compounded the problem. She may be a good teacher – but she set a sorry example to students and parents alike and for that she must suffer the consequences.

And to respond another way – I am 54, don’t drink and drive (don’t drink period) and I don’t do texting.

Just another Guest
2015 years 9 months ago

Yes its news, and like they say, a drunk or junkie needs to rock bottom before they can get better. This could be an alcoholic hitting bottom.

Yes its news – parents and children depend on her. Just as much news as a fireman or police officer. Not so much if a painter, construction, sales or whatever, where the job depends on you, not society.

I don’t pity her at all. My family could have been on that road. I’d rather see a drunk go to jail before they hit a tree and destroy their family, or worse, destroy mine.


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