A woman who was arrested after crashing her vehicle while allegedly holding an infant on her lap while behind the wheel has been arrested by authorities, according to local news reports. Pennsylvania sources are reporting the woman, a 32-year-old Ephrata resident, is under suspicion of drunk driving and has been summarily charged. She also faces charges for child endangerment. She was arraigned on the morning of Jan. 10.
According to the accident report, the woman crashed her vehicle into a curb around 10:15 p.m. on Jan. 9. Witnesses at the scene told arriving police that the woman was holding an infant in her lap in the driver's seat when the crash occurred. The infant was checked for injuries by arriving medical personnel before being discharged to a family member.
The report does not detail what steps police took to determine whether the woman was intoxicated at the time of her arrest. No mention was made of blood tests or roadside sobriety tests being performed. Court papers have confirmed, however, that the woman spent the night in jail and was released the following morning on $3,000 of unsecured bail. No further court dates have been announced.
The course of this case will depend heavily on what actions Pennsylvania police did or did not take during the woman's arrest. If they did not make any attempt to confirm their suspicions that she was intoxicated, or if tests were performed in a way inconsistent with the woman's rights, it may be difficult to prove the drunk driving charge in court. The child endangerment charge may depend primarily on witness testimony and any photographic evidence that might have been captured.
Source: lancasteronline.com, "Police: Woman was drunk and holding infant on her lap at time of crash", Jennifer Todd, Jan. 11, 2016