Mother arrested for DUI allegedly had toddler on her lap

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Drunk driving arrests frequently lead to charges of other criminal conduct. The recent arrest of a woman from Edgewater, Florida, demonstrates how what may have been a routine DUI/DWI traffic stop may evolve into a complex investigation of the woman's home life.

The reports indicate that at about 12:30 p.m. Edgewater police received a call about a possible reckless driver. An officer arrived in the area and saw a white Dodge pickup truck "swerving all over the road." The truck also had its hazard lights on. The officer turned on his cruiser lights and gave chase. The suspect allegedly switched lanes and drove off the road, finally becoming stuck in a water-filled median.

As the officer approached the truck, he allegedly saw a small child in the driver's lap. The officer states that the woman said she was on her way to the airport after a fight with her ex-husband. Her urge to reach the airport prevented her from stopping when she saw the police lights. Police allege that the woman stated that she had been drinking earlier in the day and that she admitted to consuming a 40-ounce can of beer. Police administered field sobriety tests at the scene, and they reported that the woman did not perform well. Officers also quoted the woman as saying, "Man, I was really drunk," and, "I didn't even look for the child seat before leaving the house." The woman was charged with eluding a police officer, DUI and child neglect.

Perhaps the most ominous aspect of the arrest for the driver was the statement by police that they contacted the Florida Department of Children and Families and that the Department will be conducting an investigation. The object of the investigation was not specified, but it plainly concerns the woman's treatment of her young child and the allegation of child neglect. In such cases, the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer can be helpful in negotiating with the various agencies that appear to have jurisdiction over the case.

Source: Clickorlando.com, "Woman charged with DUI had child in her lap, Edgewater police say," Emilee Speck, Nov. 2, 2017

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