Designated Daughter In Court

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 10:17am

9-year-old girl tells court about the night her drunk father put her behind the wheel of his van.

A 9-year-old girl was in tears as she testified Tuesday about the night her dad allowed her to drive a full-size van in suburban Detroit.

The daughter of Shawn Weimer says she agreed to drive but "felt a little scared."

She told the court she had driven dirt bikes and four-wheelers before, but not a car.

Weimer is charged with child abuse in this case.

Brownstown police said he allowed his daughter to drive on October 8th after a night of heavy drinking.

His daughter testified Tuesday that he drank half of a bottle of whiskey.

"He was listening to music," the girl said, when asked what her dad was doing while she was driving.

A judge is holding a hearing to determine if Weimer will go to trial.

If a judge determines there is enough evidence to go to trial, Weimer will be bound over to circuit court.

Weimer can also waive his right to a preliminary hearing and the case will automatically go to circuit court.

Video from gas station surveillance cameras show Weimer letting his 9-year-old daughter drive his van.

Weimer is heard on the video describing his amusement with the unique situation.

He commended his daughter's driving ability and explained she was his designated driver while he sat drunk in the passenger's seat.

Police later pulled Weimer and his daughter over early that Saturday morning after a concerned gas station customer called 911.

Weimer was last in court on November 1st, when a judge ruled he could see his daughter under certain conditions.

All visits were to be supervised by child welfare officials.

He also will use a device that determines whether he has consumed any alcohol.

Weimer’s lawyer, David Steingold, said his he thinks a felony charge is not appropriate for his client.

Steingold said it might have been a poor choice to have his daughter drive, but it was safer than the alternative.

The court hearing resumes on November 15th.

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