Young Kamloops woman admits to leading cops on chase after binge-drinking

A young Kamloops woman who admitted to binge-drinking before leading police on a dangerous high-speed chase through a downtown residential neighbourhood last summer might avoid a criminal record.

Dakota Funk has pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court to one count each of flight from police, dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

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Court heard the 21-year-old hit a police roadblock heading into downtown from Valleyview just before 2 a.m. on Aug. 9.

An officer told her to pull over and await further screening, but she instead took off -- first slowly creeping forward and then speeding away.

Funk failed to negotiate a left-hand turn southbound onto 13th Avenue from Columbia Street and crashed into a parked car, which was propelled more than 10 feet forward and struck another vehicle.

Once again, court heard, Funk took off.

A police officer spotted her vehicle near Pine Street and 13th Avenue and she fled again, crashing into two trees on Pleasant Street.

Funk was arrested and taken to hospital, where she received 15 stitches in her forehead for an injury suffered in one of the collisions.

She has no criminal record and no driving record, court heard. Defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen said Funk hopes to pursue a career as a nurse -- something that could be impacted by a criminal record.

Jensen called his client "nothing but a contributing member of society" who had been "binge-drinking" while dealing with personal issues.

He asked for a conditional discharge and a lengthy driving ban, meaning Funk would have no record after completing a period of probation.

The Crown is seeking a $1,500 fine and a one-year driving prohibition.

Kamloops provincial court Judge Len Marchand asked for time to think about his decision.

Funk is due back in court on March 21, at which time it is expected she will learn her sentence.

© Kamloops This Week



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