April 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.