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March 14. 2014 1:49PM

Childcare employee has license revoked after arriving to work intoxicated

MERRIMACK -- A local judge has revoked a woman's license after she consumed several drinks during an extended lunch break and returned to her work at a childcare center last month.

Casey Hobbs Lever, 29, of 23-B Styles Road, New Boston, pleaded no contest this week to one count of aggravated driving while intoxicated. In a negotiated plea, Judge Paul Moore of the 9th Circuit Court, Merrimack District Division, found Lever guilty of the offense and revoked her license for two years.

Originally, Lever was also charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of four children in connection with the incident. As part of the plea agreement, however, those charges were dropped, according to court documents.

Police allege that Lever was drunk on Feb. 28 when she drove her own five-year-old daughter while returning to work at Kid's Creative Cove Learning Center and Childcare in Merrimack. She then cared for three other children ages 2-months-old, 5-months-old and 11-months-old until a co-worker noticed that Lever appeared intoxicated and contacted authorities, says court records.

Lever allegedly failed a field sobriety test, and her blood alcohol level was recorded at .16, twice the legal limit, says court documents.

Authorities found several bottles of alcohol in Lever's vehicle, including Zhenka Pink Lemonade Vodka, Captain Morgans Spiced Rum and three Nipp bottles, says a police affidavit.

In addition to having her license revoked, Lever was ordered to have an alcohol interlock ignition device installed in her vehicle for the next year, which checks alcohol content and sparks ignition. She will also have to complete an alcohol assistance program, says court records.

A fine of about $930 was issued, and Lever was sentenced to 180 days in prison with 175 days suspended for one year pending good behavior.

Police said earlier that the child care center is cooperating with police, and all parents of the children involved were notified by the company and authorities about the incident. The Department of Health and Human Services Child Care Licensing Unit was also notified about the case, according to police.

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