Drunk father lets 8-year-old son drive pickup: police

NEW ORLEANS Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:49pm EDT

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NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A drunk father allegedly allowed his 8 year-old son to drive his pick-up truck on a southeast Louisiana highway on Saturday while he slept, until patrol officers pulled over the boy, police said.

The boy was driving the Chevrolet truck on Interstate 12 near the town of Holden, with his father in the passenger seat and his 4 year-old sister in the back seat, Louisiana State Police said in a statement.

A passing motorist noticed the pick-up truck was being driven erratically and called police.

When Louisiana state troopers pulled over the truck in Livingston Parish, they found the 8 year-old boy behind the wheel and interviewed the father, 28 year-old Billy Joe Madden of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, police said.

Police said they determined Madden was drunk and that he had been sleeping while his son drove the vehicle, en-route to Dallas, Texas.

Madden was arrested and booked into jail on two counts of child desertion, parent allowing a minor to drive, open container and two counts of no child restraint and no seatbelt.

Madden remains in jail at Livingston Parish Detention Center in lieu of $1,474 bail, said sheriff's deputy Dustin Sanders at the facility.

Both of Madden's children were turned over to child welfare authorities and were awaiting the arrival of a family member who could take custody of them, police said.

(Reporting by Kathy Finn; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Tim Gaynor)

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Comments (10)
PANCHITO6284 wrote:
Billy Joe drunk? Ya gotta be kiddin”

Jul 30, 2011 8:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
raptor123 wrote:
He was probably coming back from his radical right wing cracked teapot Klan meeting discussing gun running to the Mexican drug cartels with his Texas buddies.
He should have stayed home and been out on his rocking chair on his back porch, smoking his corn cob pipe, strumming his washboard while he watching that his moonshine did not overcook.

Jul 30, 2011 8:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Rachel83706 wrote:
I want to know how the kid knew how to pull over!!

Jul 30, 2011 8:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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