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Maine mom sentenced to six months for driving 123 mph with kids in car

By Dave Sherwood

BOWDOINHAM Maine (Reuters) - A 26-year-old Maine mother has been sentenced to six months in prison for driving 123 miles per hour (198 kph) with her two children in the car, weeks after being arrested a second time and charged with drunken driving with a child in the backseat.

In April, Cheryl Gilson, of Cornish, Maine, was headed north on the Interstate 95 near Portland with her two children, ages 3 and 5, state police said, when they clocked her traveling at about twice the posted speed limit.

Because of the high speed it took a state trooper 10 miles (16 km) to get close enough to stop her 2009 Hyundai Sonata, police said.

She pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of driving to endanger, endangering the welfare of a child and driving more than 35 miles per hour (65 kph) over the speed limit, officials said, and was sentenced to six months in prison.

When she was stopped in April, Gilson did not tell police where she was going, or why she was in such a hurry, officials said. Neither of her children were sitting in a car seat, as required by law, according to police reports.

Last month, she was arrested again, this time charged with driving while drunk with a 6-year-old in the car, local police said.

A spokesman for the Scarborough Police Department said arresting officers did not immediately recognize the woman as a repeat offender, but eventually charged her with violating her terms of bail from the April incident, endangering the welfare of a child and operating under the influence. She is awaiting trial on charges related to the July incident.

Gilson has a history of speeding, including multiple license suspensions and a revocation, officials said.

(Editing by Scott Malone; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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