Tod­dler drives drunk mother

North Waikato News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - PHILLIPA YALDEN

A three-year-old was caught driv­ing a car down the main street of Ngaru­awahia on Au­gust 7.

He was sit­ting un­buck­led in the lap of his mother, who when tested was more than three times the le­gal al­co­hol limit.

When ques­tioned by po­lice about her ac­tions, the mother just shrugged it off.

The in­ci­dent, which has left po­lice stunned at the driver’s stu­pid­ity, un­folded on a sunny Sun­day af­ter­noon when a car swerved across the me­dian line and into the path of an on­com­ing po­lice pa­trol car.

The driver - a 31-year-old Ngaru­awahia woman - was drunk be­hind the wheel with her three­year-old son perched on her knees grasp­ing the wheel and di­rect­ing the car. It was un­clear if he could even see over it.

He was perched on her knees, un­buck­led and steer­ing the wheel, po­lice say.

Waikato po­lice west­ern area com­man­der Naila Hassan was gob­s­macked with the woman’s be­hav­iour.

‘‘When she was picked up she didn’t dis­play any con­cern for her son’s wel­fare,’’

‘‘He was on her lap, on the road with her drunk.’’

Af­ter do­ing a speedy U-turn among a throng of traf­fic on Great South Rd, po­lice stopped the woman’s car and found the sce­nario only got worse, Hassan said.

A breath-test re­vealed an al­co­hol level of 867mcg - al­most four times the le­gal driv­ing limit of 250mcg of al­co­hol per litre of breath.

And in the back­seat - a group of teens. But that wasn’t all. As a re­sult of two pre­vi­ous drink driv­ing of­fences, the woman had al­ready lost her li­cence and was at­tempt­ing to get it back, Hassan said.

She was is­sued with an on the spot 28 day loss of li­cence.

‘‘This is 5pm on a Sun­day - a high risk time, in a high risk lo­ca­tion with a three-year-old on her lap. We could have lost a lit­tle kid­die.’’

‘‘It is just shock­ing, ir­re­spon­si­ble be­hav­iour that puts ev­ery­one’s lives at risk on the road.’’

Had the pa­trol car not been in the ‘‘right place at the right time’’ it could have been fa­tal, Hassan said.

‘‘It’s just disappointing that there are still peo­ple out there on the roads mak­ing such poor de­ci­sions - some peo­ple just don’t get it.’’

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