Video: Drunk Dad Makes 9-Year-Old Daughter His Designated Driver

By Will Godfrey 10/20/11

A drunk who openly used his child to chauffeur him around insisted to cops that it was his right.

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The girl and her dad leave the van.

A drunken dad who may have thought he'd dodge a DUI by making his 9-year-old daughter drive him around at 3 am is facing child abuse charges instead. Michigan father Shaun Weimer, 39, was even rash enough to boast to a gas station clerk that he was drunk and that his daughter was the "designated driver" of his large red van. She'd driven him all the way to the gas station, he told the incredulous employee—"And I parked," added the little girl, proudly. Surveillance cameras recorded the child driving away with her dad in the passenger seat, and a startled witness called 911 to report the scene—although he admitted to the operator, "She's driving pretty good!" When cops pulled the van over, the girl, who was sitting on a booster seat behind the wheel, asked them, "What did you stop me for? I was driving good." Weimer appeared to be intoxicated but refused a breathalyzer. He also insisted while in custody that it was his right to let his daughter drive for him. The girl's mother, Heather Hammon, 36, told the media she was "mortified" to hear what had happened, but defended her former partner: “He is a good dad. He just made a bad choice.” Weimer's preliminary hearing was yesterday rescheduled for November 8. He's free on bail but has been ordered by a judge to have no contact with his daughter.

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of Substance.com, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.

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