On March 19th, at about 3:15 in the afternoon, a 55-year-old man from Traverse City drove to Glenn Loomis Elementary School to pick up his child. Sounds perfectly reasonable, right? Sure. But the problem is, he was very drunk at the time. Which made for a disastrous pick up experience, among other things.
According to police reports Stephen Lennart Tooker, the inebriated father, was there to pick up his 7-year-old son. However, he already had his 3-year-old daughter in the vehicle with him. Once Tooker reached the school, he had enormous troubles trying to parallel park his Mercedes.
He apparently hit another car twice while in the parking lot attempting to park, and then drove away without stopping. This, of course, prompted another concerned parent to call law enforcement and report the incident.
When police arrived at the school, Tooker was already gone, but school officials at the Montessori school knew who he was. He was identified for police, who then drove to his home where they arrested him for a number of crimes, least of which is drunk driving. Officers who were present at this drunk driver arrest say that his blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest was more than twice Michigan’s legal limit.
Tooker will be formally charged at his arraignment on April 13th in the Grand Traverse County District Court. He is being charged with two counts of operating under the influence with a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle, which are apparently second offenses.
In addition, he is also to be charged with single counts of driving on a suspended license, and failure to stop after a collision. Of these three different charges, operating under the influence with a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle is by far the most serious.
Under Michigan law, a second offense drunk driving/child endangerment is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and either imprisonment for up to 5 years, or up to 1 year in jail. Additional penalties include probation, up to 180 days of community service, and mandatory vehicle immobilization.