People in Iowa may have heard about an unpleasant scene that unfolded at a Des Moines elementary school earlier this month. When nobody came to pick up a 5-year-old boy after school had been dismissed, police came to the scene to try to resolve the situation. Apparently, the boy's father was supposed to pick up the boy, but failed to do so for unknown reasons. The boy's mother arrived to pick up the boy around 5 p.m., but she appeared to be under the influence and was arrested for operating while intoxicated.
The mother, a 29-year-old woman with three small children, was taken into custody and now faces drunk driving charges, as well as other criminal violations, including driving with a suspended or revoked driver's license. She had her other two young children in the car with her when she was arrested, and according to police they were not in proper child car seats. She was also charged with child endangerment, and as a result of the charges against her, the three children have been placed in protective custody with the Iowa Department of Human Services.
This is an unfortunate event that may do long-term damage to the family, including jeopardizing the parents' rights to raise their children. While some may judge the woman's decision to drive under the influence, especially with small children in the car, the facts are still unclear. Police may have summoned her to the school, and if given the heartbreaking choice between driving under the influence or stranding a young child with the police, some people might have some sympathy for her dilemma. Secondly, it is unclear whether the police conducted field sobriety tests or other evaluations to determine that the distressed mother was in fact under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Regardless of the facts, it is important that the mother consult with an experienced Iowa defense attorney to face these serious charges. She may be able to enter into a diversion program or agree to some other non-imprisonment disposition that allows her to get the help she needs, and may ultimately allow her to regain custody of her young children.
Source: Omaha.com "Police say Iowa mom drove drunk with 2 toddlers in car," Sept. 16, 2014