Mother sentenced to 10 days in jail
Judge says giving alcohol to teens is a serious offense
Moffat County Court Judge Mary Lynne James said Tues-day that serving 10 days in jail was a far cry from the six months she’s prone to sentence those convicted for giving alcohol to minors.
The sentence elicited tears from Geraldine Collins, 36, a mother of three. Collins’ attorney, public defender Sheryl Uhlmann, asked James at a sentencing hearing Tuesday to consider that Collins is a single mother.
Uhlmann asked for a sentence of probation and community service.
James took that into account, but it didn’t fully change her stance.
“I think it’s absolutely inappropriate and inexcusable for an adult to put together a party for young children.”
On Sept. 30 or Oct. 1, Collins gave alcohol to four minors, ages 14 to 17.
She was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a felony; and providing alcohol to a minor, a misdemeanor.
Collins was sentenced to a year of probation, 10 days in Moffat County Jail and 100 hours of community service.
“As an adult and resident of this county, you have an obligation to follow the laws, and as an adult, you have a higher moral obligation to take care of kids and not put them at risk,” James said.
According to Uhlmann, Collins has struggled with substance-abuse issues and is making meaningful changes in her life. She’s a member of Celebrate Recovery and plans to counsel teens about substance abuse.
“While I think there was bad judgment exercised in this case, (Collins) is doing everything she can to be a model mother and citizen,” Uhlmann said. “She has taken positive steps on her own. Clearly, she’s someone on the right track.”
Collins has three children, ages 15, 5 and 3.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Stern agreed that Collins was on the right track.
“I understand the responsibility that sits with the court and how difficult sentencing can be,” he said. “Ms. Collins is someone who has taken responsibilities and made some positive steps. But, for someone who has struggled with substances, it’s more serious to put that choice before youth.”
James compared giving a teen alcohol to giving adults methamphetamine in its potential for long-term effects.
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