Michigan Dad Who Let 9-Year-Old Drive Gets Probation

By MIKE HOUSEHOLDER | February 28, 2012

A U.S. man who allowed his 9-year-old daughter to drive him around because he had been drinking was sentenced Thursday to two years of probation.

Shawn Weimer pleaded guilty in December to second-degree child abuse and allowing an unlicensed minor to operate a motor vehicle. He pleaded guilty on the condition he’d receive no jail time.

Weimer was arrested Oct. 8 when police pulled over his van and found his daughter behind the wheel. Surveillance video from a gas station showed the 39-year-old bragging about the girl’s driving skills.

“Take care of your child,” Judge Margie R. Braxton told him Thursday.

Weimer said he made a mistake in asking his daughter to drive, but that he had been thinking about how he used to drive at his family’s farm and junkyard when he was her age.

“It’s just something that I experienced when I was a kid that I shared with my daughter,” Weimer told the Detroit Free Press newspaper last year.

Weimer said Thursday his daughter has been driving off-road vehicles since she was 3.

Weimer said his daughter had been driving the van along a private road for about 45 minutes before they went to the gas station. He said it was the first time she had driven the van.

The girl testified in November that her father had consumed half a bottle of whiskey that night and that she had agreed to drive but felt a “little scared.”

Weimer told the newspaper that he had been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

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