KEY POINTS

  • A former principal at Merrimack Valley Middle School in Penacook has pleaded guilty to charges of drunk driving. 
  • Her license is suspended for nine months and she was fired from her position following the incident. 
  • She crashed her car into a tree and initlally refused to take a breathylzer. 

A former principal at Merrimack Valley Middle School in Penacook has pleaded guilty to charges of  drunk driving. Fifty-year-old Sanborton, New Hampshire resident Kara L. Lamontagne was convicted of the charges on March 5.

Lamontagne was principal of Merrimack Valley’s sixth through eighth-grade classes for three and a half years and was employed in the role at the time of the incident. In accordance with existing DUI laws, she has had her licensed suspended for nine months and received a $620 fine. Superintendent of Schools Mark MacLean confirmed that Lamontagne had tendered her resignation of her own accord on Feb. 17 and no longer works for the district.

Lamontagne must also undergo a screening within two weeks to determine if a full substance abuse disorder evaluation is needed and whether further treatment is warranted, according to a report from the Union Leader. Police documents revealed that Lamontagne was under the influence of alcohol when she drove a 2019 Mazda CX-5. She ended up crashing her car into a tree, but she sustained no serious injuries after the collision. Police immediately determined that she was under the influence and made the arrest.

Lamontagne initially pleaded not guilty and was scheduled for trial on April 13, but she changed her plea in an effort to put the matter behind her. At the time she was stopped, she refused to take a breathalyzer, which resulted in the mandatory surrender of her driver’s license, and she was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Lamontagne has not commented on the incident and has not revealed what her plans are after being dismissed from the school. If she complies and if she provides proof of completion of an approved impaired-driver education program, her driving privilege could be restored after three months. The school has not commented any further on her dismissal and subsequent guilty plea.