DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit-area man who allowed his then-9-year-old daughter to drive him around because he had been drinking has been sentenced to two years of probation.
Shawn Weimer pleaded guilty in December to second-degree child abuse and allowing an unlicensed minor to operate a motor vehicle.
Conditions of Weimer’s probation include regular drug and alcohol testing and performing 100 hours of community service, as well as completing an out-patient substance abuse treatment program. Weimer will be allowed to continue visitation with his daughter, but only under supervision. Wayne County Circuit Judge Margie Braxton also allowed the removal of Weimer’s tether.
Weimer was arrested Oct. 8 after he told a gas station clerk that the girl was driving. The clerk called police who stopped the van a short time later and found the child behind the wheel.
Surveillance video from a Brownstown Township gas station shows the 39-year-old bragging about his daughter’s driving skills. Why did he do it? Watch him explain to the clerk at the gas station in the Associated Press video below.
Weimer agreed to plead guilty on the condition he’d receive probation and no jail time.
Outside of the courtroom Thursday, Weimer’s attorney David Steingold gave his reaction to the sentence.
“I think that what Judge Braxton may be recognizing is what I put in my sentencing memorandum to her and that is that people who live in rural areas generally learn how to drive at a young age,” Steingold said, conceding however that what his client did this time was wrong.
During a preliminary hearing, Weimer’s daughter testified about driving her father’s van because, the girl said, her father had been drinking whiskey all night.
Police said the girl was behind the wheel and in a child booster seat when the full-size panel van was pulled over around 3 a.m. According to police, the girl was surprised she was pulled over and said “What did you stop me for? I was driving good.”
The girl is now 10-years-old.