WOODHAVEN (WWJ/AP) – A Woodhaven man has been ordered to stand trial for allowing his young daughter to drive a van as his designated driver.

33rd District Court Judge Michael McNally ruled Tuesday that 39-year-old Shawn Weimer of Woodhaven should face a Circuit Court trial on a second-degree child abuse charge.

“Clearly, while experienced drivers take for granted the ability to properly operate a motor vehicle, the fact is that is it is a dangerous instrumentality if not driven with care and caution,” said Judge McNally.

“It is of paramount importance that those behind the wheel of a motor vehicle be trained and have the requisite experience in order to effectuate the safe operation,” he said.

Shawn Weimer’s 9-year-old daughter testified last week about driving her father’s full-size van early in the morning on Oct. 8. She said her dad had consumed half a bottle of whiskey. She said she agreed to drive but felt a “little scared.”

Weimer was arrested after he told a store clerk that the girl was driving when they stopped at a gas station.  The clerk called police and Wayne County’s Brownstown Township stopped the van a short time later, finding the child behind the wheel.

Weimer’s attorney said the girl was a good driver and unlikely to be injured. That’s a key standard under a second-degree child abuse charge.

Judge McNally said that, prior to that day, the child had never driven an automobile.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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