A California man who was too drunk to drive was arrested on Oct. 22 for allegedly making his pre-teen nephew get behind the wheel of his car. The incident occurred in Port Hueneme at approximately 2:45 p.m.
According to authorities, a patrol officer observed a car that appeared to be driven by a child heading north on Surfside Drive. The driver turned right on Hueneme Road and committed multiple traffic violations. The officer initiated a traffic stop and found an 11-year-old boy operating the vehicle. The defendant, age 29, was slouched in the front passenger seat with an open container of alcohol. The officer said that he appeared to be intoxicated.
Police discovered that the defendant, a resident of Oxnard, was the boy's uncle. When questioned, he eventually admitted that he made his nephew drive to avoid being arrested for drunk driving. When he exited the vehicle, police spotted what appeared to be a gun near the front seat. They also discovered that he had an open warrant for driving without a license. He was arrested and charged with felony child endangerment and having an open container of alcohol in the car. He was transported to Ventura County Main Jail. The boy was released into the custody of his mother. According to media reports, the defendant was also arrested for drunk driving in May.
Individuals charged with serious traffic violations can face jail time and heavy fines. However, with an attorney's help, it may be possible to fight the allegations and avoid harsh penalties. For example, legal counsel could find evidence that undermines the prosecution's case, which could cause the case to be dismissed. In other circumstances, an attorney may negotiate a plea deal that reduces the charges.
Source: ABC 13, "Drunk uncle arrested after making 11-year-old nephew drive to avoid a DUI, police say", Oct. 27, 2017