Boozing Dad's Designated Driver: His 9-Year-Old
...who needed a booster seat to reach the steering wheel
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2011 9:10 AM CDT
If your daughter needs a booster seat, she's probably not the right designated driver.   (?Michael C. Rael)

(Newser) – Before you applaud a boozing guy for getting a designated driver to take him to the store around 2am on a Saturday, know this: said alternate chauffeur was his 9-year-old daughter ... who was sitting on a booster seat. The Detroit News reports that Shawn Weimer, 39, bought her a candy apple as a reward, and boasted the following to a Citgo gas station employee on Oct. 8: "I got a designated driver. Nine years old. Nine. Dad, drinking. Listen, we're leaving, and she's driving." An onlooker called police, who pulled over the van—to the bewilderment of the child, who asked them, "What did you stop me for? I was driving good."

Incredibly, "she was doing fine," says a police detective. The Detroit Free Press reports that she even used her turn signal twice, and the man who called 911 confirmed her abilities behind the wheel. "She's driving pretty good, I'm telling ya—I can't believe it." The detective notes that Weimer got "argumentative" and claimed he was teaching the girl how to drive. The daughter revealed that dad's drink of choice for the evening had been whiskey. Weimer, who refused a Breathalyzer test, faces child abuse charges, and could face up to 15 years in prison because he was charged with being a habitual offender due to four previous felony convictions. Click for wild video footage.