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The Thirteen-Year-Old Designated Driver

Un dia de mi vidaIt’s good for kids to have chores and responsibilities, I think.  It builds character, gives them a sense of belonging, and makes life a little easier for the parents.  I’m sure that’s what thirty-two-year-old Heather Choulos was thinking the other night when she assigned an unusual task to her thirteen-year-old son.  She gave him the job of being the designated driver for her and her boyfriend after they had had too much to drink at a restaurant.

Still three years away from getting his learner’s permit, the boy didn’t do so well, driving around the town of San Anselmo, just North of San Francisco, before giving up in frustration and abandoning the classy couple and their Land Rover in the middle of a major thoroughfare.  According to police Sgt. Rob Schneider, the boy simply “freaked out”.  “It sounds like the boy didn’t really want to drive it,” Schneider said. “He said he wasn’t going to drive anymore.”

Choulos, who has prior convictions for driving under the influence, forced her son to drive to avoid having to drive herself.  She has been charged with child endangerment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  While I commend her decision not to drive in her condition, clearly the better choice would have been to call a cab or a friend, rather than endangering her son.  If you ask me, people like this do not deserve a Land Rover, let alone kids.

Photo: dharder

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