Alleged Drunk Driver Sends Child to Hospital in Accident

Alleged Drunk Driver Sends Child to Hospital in AccidentA woman was recently arrested in Columbia, Missouri, after allegedly driving drunk and causing an accident that sent her 5-year-old son to the hospital, the Columbia Missourian reports.

The son was found inside the woman's blue Ford Escape after it settled inches deep in an embankment across a creek. Elizabeth Klaus, the mother and driver of the vehicle, was also hospitalized. However, she was recently charged with driving while intoxicated.

At the scene of the accident, firefighters concluded that the boy was not in a safety seat at the time of the accident. The boy was airlifted to a local hospital with serious injuries, while Klaus had minor injuries after being found unconscious after the crash.

According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, Klaus could soon be slapped with a second-degree assault charge for her son's injuries. Thankfully, the boy has been treated and released from the hospital.

The news source also reports that Klaus has two prior driving-while-intoxicated convictions.

Many states have implemented tough laws to punish drunk driving parents.

In 2009, the state of New York took a stance against parents who drink and drive while a child in the car by making the act a felony, according to the New York Daily News. The legislation, dubbed Leandra's Law, was named for an 11-year-old girl in Manhattan who was killed in a drunk-driving accident.

The law made drunk driving with a child age 15 or younger in the car punishable by up to four years in prison. If the child passed away as a result of the drunk driving, that adult could face up to 25 years in prison, while serious injury to a child passenger can mean up to 15 years in prison for a drunk driver.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, states without additional penalties for convicted drunk drivers who had a child in the vehicle include Mississippi, Indiana and Kentucky.