York Regional Police are calling a nine-year-old boy a “hero” after he called 911 to report his Newmarket, Ont., mother for drunk driving — while he was in the car screaming.

“It’s amazing, he’s a hero,” Const. Andy Pattenden said. “All the work we do to educate on drinking and driving… clearly it’s getting through to somebody.”

Police said they received a call on Wednesday just before 4:30 p.m. from a mobile phone but were unable to make contact with anyone on the other line. The operator heard background noises that indicated the call was coming from inside a vehicle and immediately called back, police said. The boy picked up and was able to tell the operator that he was in a van with his mother who was drinking and driving.

“He began terrified, very scared with what was going on,” Pattenden said. “It was more screaming than crying.”

Pattenden said the boy was able to bring himself to “a state of calm” and tell the operator his name, his age, a description of the van and where it was heading.

What’s great is clearly the child knew the right decision to be making and not the parent in this case

The boy’s 52-year-old mother, who Pattenden said was aware of the phone call, eventually took the phone from the boy and told the operator she had only had one drink and she was fine.

“What’s great is clearly the child knew the right decision to be making and not the parent in this case.”

The van was heading from the area of Dufferin Street and 17th Sideroad in King Township, Ont., to Columbus Way and Mulock Drive in Newmarket, Ont., — about a ten minute drive — when police pulled it over. The mother was taken to police headquarters where her blood alcohol level was allegedly found to be over twice the legal limit.

Pattenden wouldn’t describe the condition of the mother when she was pulled over. He said the number of drinks a person has to have for their blood alcohol level that point varies.

“Based on size of person, based on history of drinking, there’s a number of factors. If a person has a history of alcoholism, they can be at that level and appear quite normal.”

The mother was charged with impaired driving and over 80. The boy was turned over to his father and police contacted the Children’s Aid Society.

The mother’s name was not released by police to protect the identity of the boy.

Pattenden said he’s never seen a similar case where a child has had to report a parent, but his message from police remains the same.

“Any drink — especially with a child in the car — is unacceptable, whether it’s over the legal limit or not.”


Source: National Post


Last updated on: 2015-11-20 | Link to this post