Police: Intoxicated Woman Let 5-Year-Old Son Drive
Neighbors Say They Found Boy At Wheel, Mom In Passenger Seat
7:41 AM, Aug 30, 2007
A woman was arrested on suspicion of letting her 5-year-old son drive her around while she was intoxicated, police said.Holly Schnobrich (pictured), 24, of Lafayette, was charged with felony neglect and public intoxication after neighbors told police the boy was driving her and his 3-year-old brother in their subdivision early Sunday, authorities said.Wendy Barrett, a resident of the Saddlebrook subdivision, said Weston Schnobrich was behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi Galant that stopped in front of her home."So I approach the car, and the windows came down and there's a toddler on his knees, controlling the steering wheel," Barrett told 6News' Jennifer Carmack on Thursday.Barrett said she saw Holly Schnobrich buckled in the front passenger seat, and the 3-year-old was crawling in the back."I asked her, 'Ma'am, are you OK? Do you need some help? Is this your toddler?' She (said), 'Yes, but he's a good driver,'" Barrett recalled.Someone called police. Authorities said another neighbor confiscated Schnobrich's car keys so she couldn't get away before Tippecanoe County sheriff's officers arrived.
Holly Schnobrich told investigators that she let Weston drive because she was too impaired to operate the vehicle, police said.According to a probable cause affidavit, she admitted taking the prescription painkiller Percocet and vodka."(Schnobrich) informed the officer that she took Perocet not for pain control ... but she took it when the children acted up," Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington said.Schnobrich also had a near-empty bottle of sleeping pills that she told police she had for two days, according to the affidavit.The boys were placed into the custody of the Department of Child Services, police said. Investigators said neither child was restrained.On Thursday, Weston told 6News that he was having a hard time driving."My legs were too short to reach the pedals," he said.Holly Schnobrich was being held Thursday in the Tippecanoe County Jail on a $10,000 surety bond. Prosecutors said Schnobrich pleaded guilty last week to an unrelated charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.Weston said the incident won't stop him from wanting to drive in the future."I want to be a race car driver when I grow up," he said.