Sunday, March 1, 2009

Multi-Tasking Run Amok

(Actual mom not shown; substitute mom depicted)

Police cite breast-feeding driver for endangering

Published - Mar 01 2009 06:30AM CST

Police in Ohio say a Buckeye woman has been charged with child endangering after another motorist reported she was both breast-feeding a youngster and talking on a cell phone while driving.

Police in the Dayton suburb of Kettering say the caller told them he saw the woman Thursday. He followed her car for more than 3 miles to make certain what he thought he was seeing was real. He denied being a voyeur.

Officer Burke Buckeye says authorities used a license plate number to track down a 39-year-old woman.

He said the woman admitted the incident and told officers she was breast-feeding and wouldn't let her child go hungry. When asked why she couldn't pull over to the side of the road, the woman reportedly told officers she, too, was hungry and was in a hurry to get to Taco Bell for a 69 cent taco special.

Burke said the legal concern is that the mother had a child in her lap while driving, not that she was breast-feeding in public.

"She can stand in front of City Hall, topless, and nurse her baby if she wants. It's the driving, while talking on a cell phone, and breast-feeding an unrestrained child in her lap that make it a problem," said an unidentified by-stander with no interest in the matter.

He said the child was under 2 years old.

Police say the woman faces up to 180 days in jail and a $1,800 fine if convicted of the misdemeanor. It was not clear how the woman could spend six months in jail without the baby getting hungry. And a $1800 fine, too, makes it a death sentence for the baby due to the cost of formula. State legislators responsible for the law said they did not intend to impose the death penalty on babies for the crimes of their mothers; that would be too harsh and would endanger the child even more said one particularly dim-witted law maker.

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