Man let 9-year-old girl drive van

Dec. 20, 2011 at 1:42 PM

DETROIT, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A Detroit man pleaded guilty Monday to felony child abuse after letting his 9-year-old daughter drive his van when he was intoxicated, officials say.

Shawn Weimer pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree child abuse and allowing an unlicensed minor to operate a motor vehicle in Wayne County Circuit Court. As a part of a plea agreement, a misdemeanor child abuse charge was dropped, The Detroit News said.

Gas station surveillance video showed his daughter pulling up to a gas station early on the morning of Oct. 8. Inside the store, the camera picked up Weimer telling the clerk that his daughter was his designated driver. Police stopped the two shortly after the girl pulled the van out of the gas station.

"I plan on never drinking again in my life," Weimer told the Detroit Free Press. "I'm fully committed to sobriety and getting my daughter back in my life."

Weimer will receive probation instead of jail time, and must continue to wear an alcohol-monitoring tether. Since the incident, he has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous and parenting classes.

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