The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

Mom Smokes Pot, Drives Off With Baby on the Roof

Imagine leaving your baby in his car seat on the roof of your car, then driving off. John Goodman’s character did it in Raising Arizona. Now a Phoenix woman has reportedly done it as well.

On Saturday, Phoenix police arrested 19-year-old Catalina Clouser for DUI and child abuse after she drove off with her baby on the roof of her car, reports. The 1-month-old baby was found the morning after the incident sitting in his car seat in the middle of the road near 45th Avenue and Cholla Street.

According to police, two witnesses said they had been smoking pot with Clouser and her boyfriend on the evening of the incident at a nearby park. At around 11 p.m., Clouser’s boyfriend was charged with aggravated DUI when police caught him driving impaired with the baby on board.

Apparently upset over her boyfriend’s DUI, Clouser drove to the home of one of the witnesses to smoke more weed. At around midnight, she left the witness’ home, put her sleeping infant on top of her car, then drove off, according to police. Fortunately, the baby wasn’t injured in the fall.

Arizona’s DUI law covers intoxication not only by alcohol but also drugs. Under the law, it’s illegal for a person to drive “while under the influence of…drugs or vapor releasing substances if the person is impaired to the slightest degree.” That means that if a person’s driving abilities are impaired by even over-the-counter or prescribed drugs, she may be charged with DUI.

Driving under the influence while a child is in the car can get you an aggravated DUI charge in Arizona. However, since her baby wasn’t actually in the car while she was driving stoned, Catalina Clouser received only a misdemeanor DUI charge. Clouser has been released from prison but is being electronically monitored.

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