Pompano Beach, FL - Susan Grace was out and about Wednesday at about 5:00 p.m., when she happened upon a rather alarming sight – walking on the side of the road, along the white line, were two little ones just barely out of the toddler stage – one of them dragging a pillow, both barefoot. “I started panicking and I rolled down the window and I’m yelling, ‘Stop, stop,’ and of course, they can’t hear. And traffic’s just whizzing by them,” said Susan, a preschool teacher. She pulled her car over to the side of the road and waited with the kids until law enforcement showed up on scene. Seems the kiddos were on their way to pick up their older sister from school. But, where was mommy? While officers were questioning the kids, ages 3 and 4, one of them let it slip that “Mommy is drunk.” Hehhh…my kiddos had quite the vocabulary at that age, but the word ‘drunk’ wasn’t part of it.
The children’s uncle happened to be driving by the now crowded shoulder and recognized the kiddos. He pulled over to speak with officers and told deputies where mommy lived. When officers arrived at the home they found mommy, 44-year-old Brenda Duclos, passed out cold behind the wheel of the family grocery getter – the engine running. On the seat beside her, four empty wine bottles. Yes, Brenda had been all set to pick her older child up from school when she passed the hell out. The kids, perhaps worried about their sibling getting home safely, climbed out of the mini-van and set out to pick her up themselves. By that time, the older child had already walked to her uncle’s house when it dawned on her that her parental unit wasn’t gonna show.
Brenda refused a breathalyzer at the scene. She told officers that she has a drinking problem (ya think?) and that she had been drinking wine for a good part of the day. But, she adamantly stated that she hadn’t been driving drunk. Um. Granted, she wasn’t actually driving, but sounds to me like she sure as shit planned on it at one point. Brenda’s husband, who had been working at the time, arrived to collect the children and had this to say: “She’s stupid. She did a stupid thing,” before driving off with the kids. He later changed his mind about the stupid part and praised her on her mad motherin’ skills. “I just want to let everyone know, my wife’s not a bad person that’s made out to be like that. She’s a great mom, a great wife. We’re struggling like everyone else has been.” Uh-huh. I was more inclined to agree with him when the word ‘stupid’ came into play.
Brenda Duclos spent a day and a half behind bars before bonding out on $5,000. At her first court appearance on Thursday, Judge John Hurley read her the riot act. “Your children were found two miles away from you passed out in your driveway,” he said. “If that’s not a danger to your children, then I don’t know what is, ma’am, short of having a loaded gun with them.” It is reported that the judge also vowed to “personally call the Department of Children & Families to make sure officials were aware of how she endangered her children.” You go, judge! Brenda is being charged with DUI and child neglect. The state of Florida says cops can make an arrest on DUI charges in cases where a person suspected of being impaired is in physical control of a vehicle, even if they are just sitting behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition and/or the engine running.
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