Trial Ordered For Dad Who Let 9-Year-Old Drive
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.
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