April King, a mom of two in Apopka, Florida, got drunk in a bar on Sunday afternoon while her two children, ages 4 and 2, waited by themselves in her car. That alone would be bad enough, and the drunk mom now faces child endangerment charges. But what happened next is even more outrageous.
King — who police say exhibited slurred speech, glassy eyes, and lethargic behavior — had a breathalyzer device installed in her car and, due to previous trouble with alcohol abuse, the device was attached to an ignition locking system that prevented the car from starting unless she blew into the breathalyzer and recorded a legal reading.
That clearly was not going to be possible, so the 35-year-old King simply had her 4-year-old blow into the device, unlocking the vehicle’s starting mechanism.
Amazingly, she attempted to pull this stunt directly in front of a police officer, whose body camera recorded the whole bizarre incident. The video can be seen as part of the local news report on King’s arrest, viewable above on this page.
The officer was on the scene because the manager of Froggers Grill and Bar, a sports bar located in a strip mall on North Rock Spring Road in Apopka, called police when he spotted King getting into her SUV with a child in the car, clearly inebriated.
“I have a lady that just came in and sat down at my bar and her kid’s in the car with the A/C running,” the bar manager said, according to a transcript of a 911 call released Wednesday. “He looks like he’s about two or three years old.”
The manager told the 911 operator that King, “seemed a little under the influence and then she chugged a beer, but I didn’t know she had a kid in the car.”
Reportedly, King had only recently completed an alcohol rehabilitation program. The vehicle-locking breathalyzer mechanism was installed by her husband, Don King, to protect the couple’s two children from a relapse by their mom. But when a relapse happened, and was caught on video Sunday, Don King told a local TV station he was so upset that he refused to bail his wife out of the slammer.
“I think this is the best thing for her. Rehab hasn’t worked and she hasn’t learned anything from it,” he told WFTV News.
In fact, the husband said, he’s planning to take the kids and move back to Oklahoma, where the couple came from.
The case is actually similar to an incident in May in Oklahoma when a 33-year-old drunk mom was caught by a bar manager trying to drive home with a baby in her car.
Fortunately, the children were unharmed by the antics of their drunk mom, but Don King said that the fact that his 4-year-old had already learned to help his mother game the breathalyzer device was “a surprise to me.”
[Images: Apopka Police Department]