|Updated: 8/17/2013 12:12 am
||Published: 8/15/2013 9:47 pm
Owasso police arrested a mother reportedly slumped over her steering wheel passed out with the children in the car.
FOX23 News checked jail records and found Chancy Mullins, 22, arrested and being held on complaints of actual physical control (APC) and child endangerment.
APC is when you are not driving a vehicle but have access to drive it while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The reports states Mullins was passed out with an empty bottle of whiskey and her keys on the console. Her children, ages 3 and 1, were in the back seat of the car.
FOX23 News found there were other mothers who were charged and pleaded guilty to similar crimes.
"Most children, especially younger children are told to get in the car, they are going to obey the parent, obey the caretaker," said Tulsa police Child Crisis Cpl. Greg Smith.
He says children do not know it's dangerous and can't make the choice not to get in a car with a parent.
Donna Rogers, 62, of Jenks, pleaded guilty and is serving a two-year deferred sentence for a January incident involving DUI and child endangerment. Police said there were four kids under the age of 12 and Rogers had a blood-alcohol level 2.5 times above the legal limit.
Shannon Hardy, also known as Shannon Taylor, 33, was charged in July with DUI and child endangerment. She is accused of having a BAC three times above the legal limit when she caused an accident near 31st Street and Mingo Road. She had two 8-year-olds and a 3-year-old in the back seat.
"I don't think there is any intention of harming their children. I can't imagine any mother or father wanting to do that," said Owasso grandmother Brenda Tibbles.
In the FOX23 News archives, Denise and Desiree Whitetree were charged with DUI and child endangerment in July of 2012.
Denise is accused of driving drunk and Desiree was charged with public intoxication. Troopers reported the driver was swerving on the road and they found an open container in the car and four children, including a 2-month-old and a three-month-old.
"It just almost makes me cry," said Tibbles.
The Whitetrees pleaded guilty and received a four-year deferred sentence.
Meaning they serve their time out of prison and if they don't get in trouble during that time their record of that crime is removed.
"I think there are more people being charged for it. We are seeing it more often. I'm not sure if it's happening more often," said Smith.
FOX23 News found in 2011, lawmakers amended child abuse laws and added child endangerment if the driver is drunk with a child in the car.
If convicted, child endangerment carries up to a four years in prison. Before it was a more expensive DUI fine.
"It's not the misdemeanor DUI," said Smith.
None of the woman featured in this story received prison time, but rather a deferred sentence.
Smith says the mothers are still getting punished.
"It's not a bad thing the sentence is still there," said Smith. "It's a wake-up call; we want them to change their behavior to not do that in the future."
Records show the Denise and Desiree Whitetree are wanted for failing to pay on their fines involving these charges. Since the story aired, court records have been updated to show Desiree was booked into jail and she paid part of her fine.