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Mother Sentenced for Letting Daughter, 11, Drive From Bar

April 08, 2000|From Reuters

PHOENIX — An Arizona woman who realized she was too drunk to drive after spending all night at a bar was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday for having her 11-year-old daughter take the wheel.

Michele McCoy, 36, received three years less than the maximum for handing over the keys to her daughter Sept. 8 in an incident that ended up with the girl crashing the vehicle into a house. The girl suffered minor injuries.

McCoy pleaded guilty to one count of attempted child abuse under a plea agreement reached last month. She will receive credit for 212 days served.

A sobbing McCoy told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Linda Akers that she was sorry for her actions and wished she could undo what had been done.

Police said that the girl, who had never driven before, was given the keys after McCoy and her boyfriend had been out drinking all night. The girl crashed the vehicle at about 2 a.m. The boyfriend was not charged.

Police said McCoy had a 0.162 blood-alcohol level. The legal limit in Arizona is 0.10.

The girl asked the judge to go easy on her mother. She has been in the custody of her maternal grandmother since her mother's arrest.

McCoy had previously been convicted of one count of aggravated driving under the influence, said county spokesman Bill FitzGerald.

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