Charges: 9-year-old drives for drunk Wisconsin couple
BALSAM LAKE, Wis. (KMSP) - A Wisconsin mom and her boyfriend are facing felony charges for allowing her nine-year-old daughter drive them home in their pickup truck after they appeared too drunk to drive.
Jason Roth and Amanda Eggert pled not guilty Friday to a number of felony charges including child neglect and second degree recklessly endangering safety.
The couple was arrested about a week ago after authorities say they took a 911 complaint about erratic driving on rural Wisconsin roads. By the time law enforcement caught up to Eggert and Roth’s truck after it had pulled into a public boat launch along the Apple River in Polk County.
Deputy Jeff Hahn told the court he was stunned when he realized driver was nine years old and that the couple’s 11-month-old baby was strapped into a car seat.
“As the nine-year-old exited the truck, it was still running and in drive when Mr. Roth was sitting in the truck by himself,” Hahn testified in court. “He turned the ignition off and the truck began rolling backwards down the hill towards the river. I jumped into the truck to hit the brakes and put the truck in park.”
Hahn said both adults appeared highly intoxicated, with one of Roth’s preliminary breath tests coming back at .25, more than three times the legal limit to drive.
The nine-year-old allegedly drove the truck for miles, weaving in and out of oncoming traffic. Fortunately, there were no accidents and no one was hurt.
The two young children are now staying with extended family as Eggert and Roth remain jailed. Both their cases are now headed towards trial.