A Michigan man has been arrested after using his 9-year-old daughter as his designated driver when he was drunk on a recent Saturday.
Surveillance video obtained by The Associated Press shows Shawn Weimer’s red and white van pulling up to a CITGO gas station around 3 a.m. on Oct. 8, then Weimer talking to the cashier inside the store while his daughter eats a candy apple next to him.
Weimer assured the clerk that although he was drunk, he wasn’t driving. "I got, I got a designated driver," he says on the video. "9 years old. 9! Listen, we're leaving, and she's driving."
An alarmed witness followed them in his car and called 911 to report the underage driver, the Detroit Free Press reports.
“She’s like 7 years old, driving,” the caller told the dispatcher, according to the Detroit Free Press. “She's driving pretty good, I'm telling ya.”
Police pulled the van over shortly afterwards. The girl, propped up in a booster seat so she could see over the steering wheel, thought so, too, the Detroit News reports. "What did you stop me for? I'm driving good," she said to police, according to Brownstown Detective Lt. Robert Grant.
Weimer has been charged with second- and fourth-degree child abuse, the Detroit News reports. A 39-year-old plumber who’s been convicted on four previous felonies, he faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
"Nobody could believe it," Ibert Abbas, a manager at the gas station, told the Detroit News on Monday. "He woke (the girl) up to drive him to the gas station. He bought her a candy apple as a reward (for driving him)."