July 6, 2007

Where's The Mother For This Drunk Driver?

This story is so wrong on so many levels that it's hardly possible to know where to begin:

Police who chased a car for miles along a highway at speeds up to 100 mph said the driver was drunk, hardly a rarity in this resort town. But there was more: When they looked inside the flipped vehicle with guns drawn, they found an 11-year-old girl at the wheel.

Eleven. The girl probably just got out of the fifth grade. Good Lord.

It gets worse:

[Assistant police Chief Greg] Duck said the girl, whose name was not released because of her age, told police she was on her way to pick up her sister at a concert.

The eleven-year-old had to pick up her sister in the family car? How old was the concert-goer -- six?

The questions just bubble up on this story. Where are her parents? How did she get the car keys? Where did she get the alcohol? And by the way, where the hell are her parents?

Someone had better get the answers to these questions, and quickly. The girl turns 12 next month -- and she'll be lucky to make it.

Here's the video from USA Today.


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Comments (7)

Posted by GarandFan | July 6, 2007 5:24 PM

In 30 years as a cop, I've lost track of the number of times 'good kids' decided to take the family car for a spin after everyone else went to bed. Sometimes alcohol was involved. Most times, Mom and Dad were called (waken up) to come get their kid(s) and their car. It would be interesting to know how many kids actually got away with their Paul Revere rides and no one ever found out. Gun owners are flogged for not securing their weapons, how many parents ever consider securing their car keys?

Posted by Sara | July 6, 2007 5:53 PM

A close girl friend of mine was awakened at 4 AM one morning by the police informing her that her 12 year old had wrapped her car around a tree. My friend is a single mom who at the time had 4 teenagers at home, with the 12 year old the youngest. My friend worked two jobs, one full time 40 hour week as a Supervisor at a major newspaper, the other a 30 hour work week on her feet. She was very strict with her kids and kept her purse and car keys in her bedroom at night. But, once she fell asleep from exhaustion, it would take a freight train to wake her and her kids knew it. In her case, the older kids, 15, 17 and 18 had "dared" the kid sister to take the car. They said later that they never expected her to actually do it. Yeah right, kid sister is going to take being mocked by the elder kids for being chicken.

Aside from the consequences and potential consequences of a child behind the wheel, my friend had to miss work for several days because her car was totaled and she had no transportation for herself. She said she heard a car pull out of the driveway after she had been asleep for awhile, but her 18 year old had his own car and her 17 year old had several friends with cars, so she was used to hearing cars coming and going after she went to bed at night, since they both worked restaurant hours and didn't get off until near midnight. She never in a million years thought her 12 year old would take her car for a joy ride.

Posted by onlineanalyst | July 6, 2007 6:54 PM

Probably just emulating her heroes./ heroines-du jour: Paris Hilton and Al Gore III.

Posted by John Shaffer | July 7, 2007 12:05 PM


I enjoy your blog very much, I thought I would send you the obituary of my step daughter another kind of daughter (hero).

Do a google on Katie evans Romania to get more details

KATHRYN IRENE EVANS NEE LA PLANTE Passed away suddenly in Romania Saturday June 23, 2007. She was born Oct. 27, 1976 in Lake County, IL the daughter of Gregory and Judith (Garwood) LaPlante. Katie lived in Antioch, IL and attended Grass Lake School in Antioch and Astoria Grade School in Astoria and graduated from Emmons Grade School and Antioch High School in 1994. She earned her BA Degree from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN in 1998 and a Masters Degree in Public Health from Florida International University in North Miami, FL in 2006. Katie spent her life in service to others; serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 2000-2002 in Bangladesh; at the Greater Chicago Food Depository as coordinator of volunteer services from 2002-2004; and in Romania as Project Manager for International Orthodox Christian Charities USAID funded project, “Strengthening Community-Based Initiatives on HIV/AIDS and Family Violence in Romania” from April 2006 until her death on June 23, 2007. Katie loved spending time with family and friends and being out of doors anytime anyplace. She met John Evans while serving in the Peace Corps. They were married on May 8, 2004 in Hobart, IN. Survivors include her husband John, her Mother Judy (John) Shaffer of Lake Villa, IL, her Father Gregory (Beth) LaPlante of St. Anne, IL, her Maternal Grandmother Kathryn Garwood of Antioch, her brother Edward (Beth) LaPlante of Carmel, IN, her sister Michelle (Duaine) Yearout of Kenosha, WI, her nieces Kayla and Hannah Yearout, Emma and Chloe LaPlante and nephews, Chase LaPlante and Aidan and Connor Evans; Her mother and father-in-law Linda and Michael Evans; Her brother- in-law Jeff (Sheila) Evans and sister-in-law Jean Evans and countless friends in the United States, Bangladesh, Romania and around the world. She was preceded in death by a brother Richard G. LaPlante on Oct. 21, 2000. Funeral Services with Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM Tuesday July 3, 2007 at St. Peter Church, 557 Lake St., Antioch, IL. Visitation will be at the STRANG FUNERAL HOME OF ANTIOCH, 1055 Main St, (Rte 83) from 4 until 8PM Monday. Info 847-395-4000. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made, in her memory, to The Independence Center, 2025 Washington, St., Waukegan, IL 60085 www.icwaukegan.org. Please sign our guest book at www.strangfh.com.

Posted by E9RET | July 7, 2007 6:33 PM

My mother used to driver her father, a Methodist minister in rural Kentucky, around to visit parishioners beginning when she was 13. All four of his daughters took on that chore as they were growing up. Mom remembers that her father tied blocks of wood to the pedals so she could reach them.

Years later when I attended a family/church reunion an elderly gentleman who had been sherrif at that time told my mother and I that he had complained about my mother driving my grandfather to my grandmother saying;

“Ruby, Elizabeth (my mother) is too young to be driving and if she doesn’t stop it I’ll have to give Reverend Raney a ticket” He said my grandmother looked at him and then drawled “Well, Lucas, okay, but if Elizabeth doesn’t drive that just leaves Cleve (my grandfather) or Jean" (my aunt who was 11 at the time)

He said he thought about it awhile, especially my grandfather’s (lack of) driving skills and the number of wrecks my grandfather had caused when he had been driving and said. “Okay then, just promise me she won’t drive at night.”

He said my grandmother agreed.

Later on my mother confided that she’d continued to drive at night until she was 16 and went to college. My aunt Jean started driving my grandfather around at 14.

Posted by Streaker | July 8, 2007 1:10 AM

The problem with this story isn't about a drunk minor at the wheel of a car. It's about the reporting.

There are too many questions that need to be answered. Instead of providing a comprehensive report of the facts, the publisher rushed to print a story that is based on nothing more than hearsay.

Posted by brainy435 [TypeKey Profile Page] | July 9, 2007 8:35 AM

"Duck declined to release the girl's blood alcohol level but said a blood test at the hospital showed it was higher than .02, the legal limit for minors."

Why, if it's illegal for minors to drink, is there an intoxication limit for minors?