Off Beat Stories

Sep 13, 2009 10:41 AM by Jamie Smith

Drunk mom tries to drive child to school

A Detroit-area mother was arraigned on Wednesday after she was accused of driving her 9-year-old son to school while drunk. Dena Gay Ellington, 45, of Birmingham, was arrested Tuesday morning in Ferndale.

Police said she stopped to ask a police officer at Taft Education Center how to get to her son's school, Coolidge Elementary. The officer said he smelled alcohol on her and gave her a Breathalyzer test.

The woman blew a .29 percent, which is more than three times the legal limit. "Very unusual circumstances, that time of the morning, a woman being that drunk," said Ferndale Police Lt. William Wilson. "The fact that she approached him after drinking, and asking him how to drive further, is probably an indication that she wasn't thinking clearly."

The officer drove the woman to the Ferndale Police Department and another officer drove the boy to school. Family members picked up the boy from school later that day.

"Had she found the grade school she was looking for, there would have been kids running all over and all sorts of bad things could have happened," Wilson said.

Ellington was released on a $5,000 bond. If convicted, she could be sentenced to time in prison.

The magistrate has ordered her to undergo daily Breathalyzer tests. Ellington has no criminal history.

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