BROWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A Michigan father is facing felony charges after police say he had his nine-year-old daughter drive his van while he was allegedly intoxicated in the passenger seat.
Investigators tell Action News Shawn Russell Weimer, 39, refused to take a breathalyzer but showed signs of being intoxicated.
Surveillance video from a Citgo Gas station shows a bright red van pulling up to a gas pump and parking. Weimer then gets out of the passenger side and his young daughter is seen getting out of the driver's side of the van.
Inside the gas station, Weimer can be heard on the surveillance video bragging that his daughter is only nine-years-old and drove him to the gas station. Weimer, who is heard saying he's drunk, also refers to his daughter as his "designated driver" and "chauffeur".
A witness spotted the two leaving the gas station with Weimer's daughter getting into the driver's seat. It was almost 3:00 a.m., Saturday October 8.
The witness called 911 and told the dispatcher, “Just watched a van pull out of the Citgo Gas station. A seven-year-old girl is driving it and her dad is drunk and he’s in the passenger”. The dispatcher asks if the vehicle is staying on the road and the caller replies,
“She’s driving pretty good. I’m telling you, I can’t believe it”.
The witness followed the van until police arrived to make the traffic stop.
Officers found the girl sitting on a booster seat behind the wheel.
Weimer, who had visitation with his daughter on weekends, was arrested and the child was turned over to the care of relatives.
Police say Weimer didn't see a problem letting his nine-year-old daughter drive.
The girl told officers her father had been drinking whiskey and that he had let her drive before.
Action News reached Weimer by phone and he said that he was wrong for letting his daughter drive. He added that he is a good dad who made a bad decision.
Weimer has been charged with 2nd Degree Child Abuse (Felony), 4th Degree Child Abuse (Misdemeanor) and Habitual 4th (Felony) due to prior convictions that include Unarmed Robbery and Felon in Possession, according to police.
Weimer is free on a $25,000 personal bond and has been ordered not to have any contact with his daughter who resides with her mother.
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