AUSTIN (KXAN) – Police say two parents got drunk at a North Austin bar, but instead of driving under the influence on Interstate 35 they used a designated driver: their 13-year-old daughter.
According to an arrest affidavit, the mother and father were drinking with their two children Saturday night at Club Vongos located on Middle Fiskville Road near the Austin Community College Highland campus. They left at about 11 p.m. Police soon received a call that a silver Chevrolet pickup truck was running stoplights and driving erratically, according to a police affidavit.
Police said they pulled the truck over on I-35 northbound after seeing it weaving on the freeway, nearly hitting other vehicles and driving about 30 mph below the designated 70 mph speed limit. The truck also may have struck a guardrail, the affidavit states.
Police said they approached the vehicle and found a 13-year-old girl in the driver’s seat. The two parents, along with their seven-year-old son, were passengers, according to the affidavit.
The juvenile driver allegedly told police, “she observed her father and mother were too intoxicated to drive as they were leaving the bar, and she suggested she should drive home because she felt it would be safer for her to drive,” according to the affidavit.
Police said they could smell a strong odor of alcohol on both parents’ breath, and they found an open, cold and partially consumed Modelo beer beneath the driver’s seat during a search of the car.
The juvenile driver had no experience driving on an interstate. The mother told police the parents were “trying to do the right thing” and the drive was a “little adventure” for the girl, according to the affidavit.
The father told police he was too intoxicated to drive home, and it was “smart” for him and his wife not to drive under the influence, the affidavit states.
The mother and father have each been charged with two counts of child endangerment, a state-jail felony, according to arrest warrants.