Woman charged in alleged DWI crash with child passenger - New York News

Woman charged in alleged DWI crash with child passenger

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On Christmas Day, many parents were watching their kids open presents but police say 37-year-old Jessica Hernandez decided to take her 2-year-old son out for an intoxicated afternoon drive.

According to new information from the affidavit, Austin Police say after Hernandez hit a utility pole on FM 973 snapping it in half and starting a small grass fire, she tried to take off again in her gray SUV.

A Marine saw the whole thing, kept her there and told her to get out of the vehicle. He helped the 2-year-old boy get out too.

When police arrived, Hernandez was so intoxicated she couldn't answer simple questions like "Where do you work?"

When officers asked her how old her son is, she said "100 and a half."

Police say Hernandez failed her field sobriety tests.

Before the dramatic ending at the utility pole, Hernandez had already been the subject of many concerned 911 calls that day for her erratic driving.

"I guess it has something to do with the degree of intoxication. The woman was so impaired, they couldn't complete the tests because she was really unable to stand unassisted," said Sgt. Gary Christenberry with Austin Police.

And like many DWI suspects, Hernandez told officers she only had two drinks.

Detective Richard Mabe with the Austin Police Department spent a decade in the DWI Unit so he's heard that "2 drink" thing plenty of times.

"I think it's a simple answer that people forget and I don't think that it's necessarily a wrong answer. They've had the first drink and the last drink...it's the ones in the middle that they kind of get fuzzy about," Mabe said.

Fortunately the woman's son wasn't hurt. Mabe says at that age, he very easily could have been.

"The adult made the decision and put that child in danger and that's what makes this crime severe is that you're endangering not only your life...knowingly your life...but the life of a child that had no choice in the matter," Mabe said.

Police say Ms. Hernandez is charged with DWI with a child passenger -- that's a state jail felony -- anywhere from 6 months to 2 years in jail with a $10,000 fine if she's found guilty.

Police encourage drivers during this holiday season to find a designated driver and don't wait until 2 in the morning to do it.

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