Drunk US mum arrested after allegedly leaving child in car for hours to drink at a bar
A mother was arrested and is facing a charge of child neglect after she allegedly left her seven-year-old child in the car for hours while she got drunk at a bar, said the US police.
Veronica Elliott, 35, from the city of DeLand in Florida, eventually returned to her daughter while covered in dirt and without shoes in an incident that took place in late October, said the DeLand police department.
The police went to The Perfect Spot Bar at 2.58am on Oct 29, after they were alerted that a child had walked up to the bar looking for her mother.
“During the investigation, it was learned the child was left in an unlocked car, which was turned off, in a dark parking lot with no lights,” the police said in a news release.
It was not known what time the mother, Elliott, arrived in the area and how long her daughter had been on her own.
A police officer stayed with the girl, while others looked for Elliott, who could not be found.
At around 6.30am, Elliott finally turned up, “covered in dirt, swaying with movements and was missing her shoes”, said the police.
She told the officers she was meant to be away for only 10 minutes.
“Elliott’s slurred speech patterns and body movements were consistent with an individual under the influence (of alcohol or drugs),” the police said.
Elliott claimed she was going to the bar to meet a man and woke up hours later in a car at the opposite end of the carpark.
The Department of Children and Families has taken custody of the child while Elliot was arrested by the police for suspected child neglect.
She faces up to five years in prison and a US$5,000 (S$6,800) fine if convicted.
She was released after posting US$2,500 bail.