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Parenting ain't easy. And sometimes you might just want to take the edge off during your evening walk with your child. But a relaxing beer or cocktail after work is a far cry from pushing your baby "down steps in a stroller and bumping into buildings and bushes."
The former might be socially acceptable. The latter will get you arrested.
Sippin' and Strollin'
Danville, CA police found 31-year-old Sara Gazzaneo pushing her infant son in a stroller around 8 p.m. Monday evening. She must've been having one serious case of The Mondays, because police determined she was too intoxicated to care for herself. Officers took Ms. Gazzaneo into custody and gave temporary custody of her baby to a family member.
Gazzaneo was charged with child endangerment and being intoxicated in public. Depending on the risk of harm to the child, she could be facing anywhere from one year in county jail to six years in a California state prison. Such a conviction could also initiate an investigation from Child Protective Services.
Criminal Child Care
To be fair, being cited for strolling while intoxicated is probably better than drunk driving with children in the car. Some studies have shown an increase in DUIs with kids in the car, and the penalties, along with the danger to children's safety, can be extreme. A normal DUI becomes an aggravated DUI and child endangerment charges to into child abuse charges.
And at least Gazzaneo wasn't selling drugs from her baby's stroller, as one Florida mom was charged with doing last year. That particular parent admitted to snorting Alprazolam (sold as Xanax) while taking her baby for a walk in a stroller full of heroin. One does wonder whether Gazzaneo was still breastfeeding her son -- some jurisdictions have begun prosecuting mothers who breastfeed while drunk.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.