Police: Dad used 9-year-old daughter as ‘designated driver’


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Kids say the darnedest things. Take the 9-year-old who was sitting in a booster seat behind the wheel of a van when she was pulled over by police outside Detroit. “What did you stop me for?” she reportedly told an officer. “I was driving good.”

Maybe so. But Brownstown Township police say they nonetheless arrested her father, Shawn Weimer, 39, for allegedly employing the girl as his chauffeur after he had too much to drink.


Surveillance video from a gas station convenience store shows the man bragging that his daughter was only 9 years old and “drove all the way here ... and parked!” He refers to her as his “designated driver.”

The video also shows the man dancing in the parking lot while the girl walks back to their van.

Someone who overheard Weimer in the gas station alerted police. Weimer was arrested about 3 a.m. on Oct. 8 when police pulled over his van and indeed found the girl in the booster seat behind the wheel. Brownstown Township Det. Lt. Robert Grant said the girl acted surprised when the officer appeared at her window.

She said -- and we’ll repeat it: “What did you stop me for? I was driving good,” Grant told the Detroit Free Press.

The story’s humorous elements -- really? A booster seat behind the wheel? -- has resulted in widespread online attention. But the chuckles end with a closer look at the details.

The girl told police her father had allowed her to drive before when he had been drinking whiskey all night. The father now faces child abuse charges and up to 15 years in prison because of prior convictions, including a 2007 DUI charge that involved a crash, according to the Free Press.


The child has been turned over to a grandfather because police could not find her mother, who is separated from Weimer.


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-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch