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Police: Drunk Man Lets 6-Year-Old Steer


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Police: Drunk Man Lets 6-Year-Old Steer

By Associated Press

September 30, 2004, 4:56 PM EDT

WAUKESHA, Wis. -- A man faces a drunken driving charge after another motorist reported seeing him let his 6-year-old son steer as they drove at an estimated 70 mph on a freeway, authorities said.

Paul Boland, 37, was charged with his second offense of drunken driving with a penalty enhancer for allegedly having a passenger under 16 in the car at the time.

The enhancer doubles the maximum possible jail time to one year and fine to $2,200 if he is convicted. Boland was scheduled to be back in court Friday.

Muskego police said a motorist reported seeing the car, with the boy steering from his father's lap, occasionally veer onto the gravel shoulder at freeway speed on Interstate 43 the afternoon of Sept. 6.

After the cellular call was relayed to the sheriff's department, an officer who was nearby spotted the vehicle and stopped it near the police department headquarters, Lt. John La Tour said Thursday.

The boy was in the passenger seat crying and Boland told the officer the two had been having a conversation, the criminal complaint said.

A preliminary breath test indicated Boland had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.18 percent, compared with the 0.08 percent considered evidence of intoxication in Wisconsin, the complaint said.

Boland "failed miserably" field tests for intoxication given at the scene, La Tour said.

At his initial appearance Tuesday, Waukesha County Court Commissioner Martin Binn set Boland's bail at $500, ordered that he participate in a program for intoxicated drivers and also told him not to have children drive his car. When he couldn't post bail, he was sent to the county jail.

Court records Thursday did not yet list any defense attorney in the case.

La Tour said Waukesha County has a program that pays drivers a bounty for reporting cases of intoxicated driving.

"We depend on citizens calling" to catch such drivers, he said.

Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press

newsday.com

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