Asta Vinksnaite, 32, mother of four, jailed after abandoning passenger with broken neck
Asta Vinksnaite, a mother of four, will spend 11 months of her two-plus-year sentence in prison.
The 32-year-old was also sentenced to a three-year road ban.
An Antrim Criminal Court judge said Binks Knight was “prepared to put himself and others at risk of injury”.
At the hearing, it was said that she should be released by Christmas and that authorities hoped her “imprisonment would be put behind her.”
The defendant, from Dunkrug Gardens, Ballymena, pleaded guilty to a number of charges, including serious bodily injury from careless driving with excessive alcohol, serious bodily injury from aggravated vehicle use, and cause of damage. .
Vytautas Mikulinas, a Granville Road passenger in Portadown, admitted that the deteriorating ride caused injuries and damage.
The 32-year-old was charged on the basis that he knew his ex-girlfriend, Vinksnaite, was drinking and didn’t have a permit to drive the Lexus that she eventually crashed. .
However, he was released after a judge suspended his nine-month prison sentence for two years.
Called to the M2 in Balimena in the early hours of July 25, 2021, police were confronted by a badly damaged Lexus that crashed into a barrier and then into a concrete bridge.
Vinksnaite and Mikulinas were spoken to at the scene and it was not confirmed which one was driving, but both were found to be over the limit.
Backseat passengers were hospitalized with serious injuries including a broken neck, broken collarbone, broken shoulder, broken ribs, broken wrist and broken jaw.
He told police that everyone had been drinking before getting in the car and said he remembers little of the accident, other than that Binks Knight was “driving very fast and the car was going round and round.”
When she was questioned by police, the defendant admitted that she had no insurance.
She also estimated that she was traveling 100 mph before the crash.
She had live-streamed her driving before the accident.
The court said her behavior was “far short of (the threshold of) dangerous driving” and involved significantly excessive speed.
The hearing also revealed that she had multiple motor vehicle driving convictions.
Her first court appearance for DUI came just two days before her devastating accident.
KC Judge Roseanne McCormick said, “It’s a potential concern because she just enjoys driving illegally and could pose a serious risk of injury.”
A lawyer for the defense said Binks Knight was trying to hold back his job and build a family relationship, and asked for a binding order rather than a prison sentence.
Judge McCormick disagreed and imprisoned the drunk driver, but imposed a longer-than-normal license term to give Binks Knight time to deal with her “impulsive and dangerous behavior.” bottom.