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Child Helps Mom Drive Drunk! Really?

David McNew/Getty Images I deal, on a daily basis, with individuals who have been convicted of numerous drunk driving charges, and are paying for their crimes, with their freedom.  And as one who was as irresponsible as any alcohol consumer, I committed the cardinal sin of alcohol consumption…I have driven drunk. And paid for it. And so I have a strong feeling about individuals who drink and get behind a wheel of a car.  But in a story that Kevin Koile, our news reporter for all of our radio stations, brought to my attention, and posted on our sister station’s website, I have found the ultimate in social irresponsibility, in a local Casper women. Not only did she drive impaired she had her little child blow into her alcohol interlock device so she could drive her car, with her kids in it, drunk!!
Ashley Katen entered a guilty plea to one felony count of DUI, and no contest pleas on two charges of child endangerment.

The Natrona County Sheriff’s Office says in May, a deputy saw Katen driving on Sixth Street in Casper near McKinley at a high rate of speed.

After she was pulled over, Katen told the deputy she had been drinking the night before, and then drank some more after she dropped off her children at school.

Prosecutors say her car had an interlock device on the ignition, and there was a twelve-pack of beer with two open cans inside.

A breathalyzer test at the time showed she had a blood-alcohol content of .17, more than twice the legal limit for driving.

Katen told the deputy that she had taken her two children to school earlier in the day and was sober enough to start the vehicle, but one of the children told investigators that he breathed into the interlock device to get the car started.

Prosecutors say Katen has had three prior DUI convictions.

She remains free on bond and will be sentenced at a later date.

I always urge River listeners to have a “Plan B”! If your gonna drink. Figure out how you are going to get from point A to point B…without getting behind the wheel of a car. So I’m safe…your safe…my son’s safe and we can have another tomorrow.

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