Florida Mom Jailed After She Allegedly Abandoned Kids In Running Car To Drink And Had 4-Year-Old Son Use Breathalyzer To Start Car

os-april-king-arrest-child-abuse-apopka-20150811April R. King, 35, is facing a particularly bad criminal case after a police body cam video by Apopka police allegedly showed her using her 4-year-old son to blow into an in-vehicle Breathalyzer so it would start. She is accused of leaving her kids in the car to drink at a bar.

Police say that they were called to a running vehicle outside of a Froggers Grill and Bar with kids in the car. The kids were in the car for about 20 minutes. That might be somehow explained (though the running car is particularly dangerous) but employees said that she left the bar and drove around in the parking lot before going to a business next door to the bar. When police arrived, they say that she was outside of her vehicle and had slurred speech and smelled of alcohol and seemed unsteady. She denied going to the bar or leaving her children. As the police were looking into the matter, the boy went to the front seat and blew on the Breathalyzer.

Her husband not surprisingly revealed that his wife has a serious drinking problem. She was charged with child neglect and taken to the Orange County Jail on a $1,500 bond.

The husband was not in town during the incident and the children were released into the care of a babysitter.

These are unbelievably sad cases. Many of us have known people with alcohol dependency and it takes a terrible toll on these people and their families. The question is how to handle such cases without shattering a family. It should be clear that she cannot have supervision of the children, but the question is what other restrictions must be placed beyond mandatory treatment. It seems likely that a jail stint will be ordered.

How do you think such cases should be handled? Is jail really warranted with such an addiction and, if so, how long is appropriate in such a case.

111 thoughts on “Florida Mom Jailed After She Allegedly Abandoned Kids In Running Car To Drink And Had 4-Year-Old Son Use Breathalyzer To Start Car”

  1. And Believer it’s wonderful being able to speak without rancor to one another when discussing such touchy subjects, thank you.

  2. Believer, I’m not against adoption to good homes. I’m against a foster care system that leaves a whole lot to be desired. I have two adopted cousins I love very much. Unfortunately is there aren’t enough such homes for the kids that have been taken away from their biological parents. Also I didn’t say that handicapped children don’t have a right to life. The condition I mentioned, anencephaly is far more than a mere handicap. Anencephaly is not conducive to life and the majority die at birth or a day or so afterwards. There are other conditions that would end a babies life within a day or two and some do suffer. I think parents should have the right to end the pregnancy before birth in such cases if they so choose and shouldn’t be judged. We don’t know what they are going through. Same with girls who are victims of incest, most of which are also rapes. It’s cruel to expect these girls to bear the child of their father, brother rapist.

  3. Annie, looks as if you had the proper training to bring up a wonderful family. I salute you on that and know you are a proud mom. Unfortunately sometimes the spouses we choose are not the people we were led to believe they were. However, you did the right thing, you took the bull by the horns and raised a nice family. Never-the-less, my belief is that all children have the right to live and sometimes we learn from the ones who are handicapped. They can teach us a so much and should be allowed to enjoy life also. Who made man God to say who lives and dies?

    As for as a victim of rape, a good friend of mine was raped and struggled with the question of whether or not to abort, but could not bring herself to do such. To make a long story short, there was never a bond between the parent and child. They were too much alike and the mother could never get the rape out of her mind, seeing the child brought up horrible memories and eventually the child got in trouble and picked up by the law. Knowing the family, my husband and I took the girl and raised her with our family and somewhere along the line, she learned that there can be a loving way to raise a family. Her life was not without problems after she left us but today, she is married to a CEO of his own company and has very good husband and father to his kids active in church and is heavily immersed in the childrens lives. I guess you might say she has been blessed . Good can come to those children who are not aborted if only the parent would give them the chance to find their own way. Also she and her mom are now friends and are finding they have a lot in common.

    As for incest, I know it happens much more than is made known to the public, but if the child is allowed to live and gets into the right home, it could have a good life too. A mother who gives up a child to abortion does not think of herself alone, the child has a chance to be adopted and a chance of a good life. Many adopted children have bad flaws but in the loving home of adoptive parents can grow and be an asset to the human race. Annie, I guess we will never be on the same page when it comes to adoption or abortion.

    As far as the many ways that children get into the system, yes there are many but the system knowing the children come from drug, alcoholic, or abusive homes will opt to send them right back into the same home and the spots on a leopard do not change, That is why I was raised by a grandma until she died and an aunt and uncle took me in and raised me with their children. I had the opportunity to attend college, Generally kids in such situations, get pregnant in hopes the boy will marry them so they can escape the hell they live in, or run away and generally that does not turn out well. Everyone has a right to their own beliefs, and I guess I am a right wing, right to lifer as labels go. Good chatting with you.

  4. Viability is a social paradigm used to justify terminating human life. Technically, a human life is not viable UNTIL it is capable of surviving on its own…period. It’s no coincidence that post-birth abortion or the murder of a child up to the age of 5 is now being considered as the child is considered to have no “self-awareness”. Don’t believe me? Look it up. It’s also notable that the elderly are being considered not viable if they require “assisted-living”.

    How compassionate our society is looking out for the humans adding value to our daily lives. Nicely done!

  5. Gosnell’s clinic wasn’t inspected for decades. It was that lack of inspection that allowed such a house of horrors. If all abortion is made illegal, we will see more such uninspected illegal houses of horrors in back alleys once again. Women have had abortions for many many years. Before that, infanticide wasn’t unusual. It behooves society to be realistic about women seeking abortion, it won’t stop. Do we really want to take all choice away from desperate women who may not be suited to bring a child into the world at that time?

  6. “But if you support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, you are limiting a woman’s right to choose, and inserting your beliefs between a woman and her doctor.”

    Yes indeed, but more than simply beliefs, science and modern medicine has much to do with it. If infants are viable around 22 weeks and could conceivably be aborted alive and survive with medical care, there should be a time limitation. That isn’t unreasonable. It still gives the woman a choice. Early pregnancy testing is so accurate now that it still gives a woman ample time to arrange for an abortion if that is her choice. I oppose infanticide also. A fetus is not an infant. Neural connections before 20 weeks haven’t even formed yet at 20 weeks. The ban at 20 weeks with exceptions is a reasonable option.

    And no one has claimed that one cannot have a “voice” based on their stance on abortion. But it gives people the opportunity to point out the hypocrisy of those who would ban all abortion, yet stand by to see a multitude of children languishing in foster care.

  7. And allow me to deflate that argument that conservatives are hypocritical unless they adopt a baby or are a foster parent. That unless they do something about unwanted children, they are not allowed to condemn abortion.

    I adamantly oppose infanticide. And yet, I have never adopted a child left out to die of exposure. Does that make me a hypocrite or unable to state my opinion against infanticide? I oppose bride burning in India, but I have not hosted a burn victim. I was upset about Cecil the lion’s poaching, but although I donate to multiple environmental and wildlife charities, I have not yet found a charity that specifically fights poaching of lions in Africa. I oppose murder but I have not volunteered my time at a cold case center.

    It is important for all of us to volunteer and do what we can to make the world a better place. But it is a spurious argument to declare that unless you become intimately involved in all causes, you cannot have a voice. It can be a call to become more active in making a positive difference, but declaring your opinion null unless you do is false logic.

  8. Here’s the really sad dilemma about our basic human rights. No one can force anyone to be sterilized or take long-acting birth control against their will. So when you have drug addicts who can’t make a good decision to save their lives, they keep getting pregnant and using throughout pregnancy. And you have people like that guy who’d sired 26 kids with 20 different women who had never paid a dime in child support. And who knows what diseases he’d given his baby mammas, because he clearly was not using protection and those women were not protecting themselves from that menace.

    My husband knows someone who broke up with a girlfriend who was using drugs. 8 months later, he got the call that she’d just found out she was pregnant with his child and due to deliver in a couple of weeks. She’d used the entire time. She tested positive for meth at delivery, which meant she’d used within the past day. They did not take the baby from her, but rather put her into a mandatory drug treatment plan where she kept the baby with her. As has been pointed out, forced rehab rarely helps unwilling participants. The child is now 6, his mother still uses, and the kid’s chances for a healthy, happy future are pretty bad.

  9. But if you support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, you are limiting a woman’s right to choose, and inserting your beliefs between a woman and her doctor.

    From my perspective, I see a whole range of opinions on abortion. The overwhelming majority of people do support a limit on abortion. Most, for example, vehemently oppose late term abortions of healthy pregnancies. And yet, Dr Gosnell’s House of Horrors was doing a booming business. So, clearly, there are people out there who think it’s just fine to abort a full term baby, even when that baby has managed to take a breath before the “doctor” severed his or her spinal chord.

    That’s why I think the soap box of Pro Choice is so absurd. People have more in common on this issue than they think. Most do believe there should be a limit. Things just seem to come to blows when people talk about where that limit should be. 2nd Trimester? Prior to implantation? When a fetus can feel pain? When a fetus could be viable if delivered early? There’s a whole range of thought on when life begins that has absolutely nothing at all to do with biology. Technically, human life literally begins at conception, according to the biological definition. The definition of humanity, along with human rights, as it applies to abortion is purely political or cultural. Some cultures didn’t believe a human life began until a baby was 8 days old. Others, until he was baptized. Again, that has nothing to do with biology.

    To be more accurate, they should divide “Pro Choice” into relevant categories: “Pre-20 Weeks”, “Pre Implantation”, “2nd Trimester” and so on.

  10. Oh and Believer, I’d like to say that I have four children and four grandchildren. I was married for 20 years and divorced when my two youngest were 7 and 10. The two oldest were in their first and second year of college. Luckily my professon, nursing gave me good job security and a decent wage. All my children turned out well and I couldn’t be prouder of them. My eldest a Navy Corpsman, career. My second to oldest a stay any home married, a stay at home mom with three children. Her degree is in Art History. My third daughter, an attorney, married and mom of one child, and then my youngest my son, who taught himself everything mechanic as he took over my garage, he is a Millwright journeyman.

    So while it may be optimal to have a loving home with both parents present, wonderful foster homes for all fostered children who hopefully get adopted or go back to a stable home, we KNOW that it isn’t so in many cases. I’d also like to say I had four pregnancies, with four beautiful babies and never even had the need to have an abortion.

    I don’t approve of abortion, but I would not take away the right to have one from desperate women with no support system or a substance abuse problem, or a rape victim, or a victim,of incest, or a mother whose life is at risk if the pregnancy continues, or the health of the child is the issue, anacephaly comes to mind as well as other life ending conditions once the child is born. The real world presents scenarios and issues that are not so clean cut, women should have options to do what the feel is right for them and yes the unborn baby they carry. Way back when I was a nursing student, I did a rotation on a pediatric burn unit. I saw children who had been abused by drunken, crazy parents. It would break your heart.

  11. Believer, I’m happy that your grandchild was so fortunate to be adopted by your daughter. It sounds as if she is a wonderful parent with a lovely home. I don’t understand why they should still be inspecting her home after the legal adoption, that’s seems unfair and wrong. However there are also some pretty bad foster homes and honestly it relieves me to hear that the inspections are so stringent. We hear cases in which foster children are abused and even killed in foster homes. So even though it may be inconvienient and uncomfortable, let the home visits continue because not every foster child is so lucky to go to wonderful foster parents such as your daughter.

  12. I ANNIE:

    “There should be absolutely NO shortage of good foster homes. Right to Lifers would serve ther cause well by becoming foster parents. Put their beliefs where their mouths are. How many thousands upon thousands of Americans are Pro Life? Now tell me WHY there is a shortage of foster parents?”


    You are right to a point Annie, there should be no shortage of good foster homes. However, if you only knew the crap the system puts a foster parent through, depending on the state you are in, you would get fed up with it also. My daughter has a lovely home, is a meticulous housekeeper, gourmet cook and they were not able to adopt until she was in her late 40’s. Last month, she had 3 inspections of her home, I mean going through her laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, checking every lock, nook and cranny, She has been the legal parent of my grandson 3 years now and the inspections still go on. Each child has to have his own bedroom, etc, etc, you would be shocked.

    Being a mother of 3, I understand how disrupting it would be to have some case worker come into my home for an inspection without at least a couple days notice. At that point they would have gotten the boot. Not every home has a room for each child, My kids slept in trundle beds in the same room. No home with kids can always be clean and the sessions the counselors have with the children where the parent is not allowed to attend is absolutely asinine. All they would have to do is look at the home, see how happy the kids are and one would know it is a good home, No bruises, or broken bones, After all, the parents know the rules by heart by this time.. Try going to a wedding out of state while raising a foster child, that is a real hassle for the foster parent trying to get prior approval to leave the state.

    There are many who are childless but the hassle the system gives the wannabe parents is unnecessarily too invasive. Some common sense should be used. Truth be told, I don’t believe the young case workers really know how to raise a child. You are right, there should not be a shortage of foster parents. Yes, I’m sure many Pro-Life, right to lifers if given a decent chance would adopt, we don’t believe in the murder of children. Every child has a right to live, experience love, and the warmth and comfort of loving parents.


    1. Believer – there is no shortage of adoptive parents who are now required to go to Europe, Asia or Africa to adopt because of the shortage of adoptable children here. Pro-life has nothing to do with foster children. There are all sorts of things that put kids into the system.

  13. Olly: “I hope you are aware that foster parents come in both genders (assuming of course that is still an acceptable thing to say)”
    Yes, Olly, I understand that foster parents come in both genders, unfortunately while I was at my daughters home with the foster kids, her husband was in China on business . However I also understand what you truly meant and I really do think given my background and upbringing that children raised by one parent, or one gender families do not get a balanced upbringing. My reason, I was raised by aunts and grandmother and thank God for them, but given a choice I would say all children need a mother and a father to identify with. Of course we have a crazy world these days and anything goes so is there any wonder we have so many screwed up kids. ………………. my opinion.

  14. Good thread trashed by one angry woman. Olly, you are a very good man. NEVER punch down.

    1. Nick – sometimes you are forced to punch down because people fight outside their weight class.

  15. Paul: No one, other than her, disagrees with her needing therapy, but as Jonathan pointed out, what good will it do if they aren’t ready or won’t accept it? This one thinks her only problem is a mean mother who won’t pay her bills, take care of her kids and bail her out of jail on command. When my friend refuses these things, the daughter launches into a tirade about what a horrible mother she’s been, how her alcoholism is all the mom’s fault, and what a horrible wife she was, feeding into a frequent theme expressed by her father up until he took off for the last time, none of which is true. My friend has tolerated all of this with admirable strength. I still believe in the rock-bottom theory. You can lead a horse to water, and so forth… . Maybe taking the kids away for awhile, and not placing them with her mother so she can visit whenever she feels like it, might get her attention.

    1. Natacha – enforced AA just doesn’t seem to work enough that I would recommend it. If she is a danger to herself or others you could get a 72 hour committment, but she would have to be in therapy first. Enforced therapy would require her to deal with some of the issues that are floating to the surface. Watch the British show Misfits and see if community service would work.

  16. “I don’t think your rude and condescending manner helps you prove your point.”

    Well no Inga/Annie, I don’t need it to; your effort is enough.


  17. “I don’t think your rude and condescending manner helps you prove your point.

    What a puzzle.
    Rude and condescending were the touchstones of John Stewart on The Daily Show, as well as all the Blessed Announcers on MSNBC.

    Now I don’t know what to think.
    I shall consult the Progressive Grand Inquisitor.

  18. “There should be absolutely NO shortage of good foster homes.

    Similarly, there should be absolutely NO shortage of food or water or housing or money.
    I blame the christofascist conservatives for such shortages, those wreckers and hoarders.

    Regardless, the problem with requiring Pro Lifers (*spit*) to be Foster parents is that a lot of them are BadWhites and practice patriarchal hegemony and WhitePrivilege and DeFactoRacism along with other wrongthink, which the poor kid only unlearns in the hallowed halls of a Blessed University.

    I agree with you, best to kill them in utero than expose them to BadWhites.

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