Having had a few drinks, like any responsible motorist Shawn Weimer found himself a designated driver. But it would appear that the Detroit-area man's good sense ended there.
The person Weimer turned to to drive him to the store when he had apparently been drinking was his nine-year-old daughter.
Local police detective Lt. Robert Grant said the girl was sitting behind the
wheel in a child's booster seat before 3am on October 8, when an officer
opened the driver's side door of the full-sized panel van her father
uses for work.He said she was surprised when police pulled her over.
She said to the officer, 'What did you stop me for? I was driving good,' Mr
Grant told the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News.
Her 39-year-old father was charged with two counts of child abuse, one a felony and the other a misdemenor.
Someone called police after spotting the pair stopped at the gas station.
The caller watched the girl get in the driver's seat and pull the vehicle
on to the road. She drove a couple miles before police pulled her over.
watched a van pull out of a Citgo gas station, a seven-year-old girl is
driving it, and her dad is drunk and he's in the passenger seat,' the
good Samaritan says on the 911 emergency call, released by the Detroit
'She’s driving pretty good, I’m telling ya. I can’t believe it,' the caller said to the emergency dispatcher.
The videotape obtained shows the van pulling up to
the station and walking in with his daughter. He told an unseen clerk
that she was driving him around because he had been drinking.
'I got a designated driver,' Weimer said.
The girl told police that her father had been drinking whiskey all night. She said he had allowed her to drive before. 'Then he was argumentative with us, that it was his right to teach his daughter how to drive,' Mr Grant reported.
'Very sweet, intelligent little girl,' Mr Grant said.
Weimer, who told officers he was teaching his daughter to drive, was arrested
and refused a Breathalyzer test, Grant said. He was charged with second-
and fourth-degree child abuse during an October 10 arraignment.
He was ordered to have no contact with his daughter.
His preliminary examination is scheduled for Tuesday. He also was charged with being a habitual offender and could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if convicted. The habitual offender charge stems from convictions on four previous felonies, including receiving
and concealing stolen property and unarmed robbery, Grant said.
He was convicted of driving while intoxicated in connection with an
October 2007 crash in another area of Michigan and had his license
restricted for a year, Michigan Secretary of State spokesman Fred
Woodhams told the Free Press.
The girl was turned over to her maternal grandfather when police could not reach her mother. The girl's parents are separated.
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