Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a Santa Clarita woman on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after she was observed driving with a 1-year-old infant in her lap.
NBC in Los Angeles reports that the incident happened at approximately 6:30. p.m. on Wednesday, July 15th, when a man saw 30-year-old Melissa Mendoza at a stoplight, appearing excessively tired and falling asleep at the wheel of her SUV. The eyewitness also said that Mendoza also appeared to be driving with a baby on her lap.
According to the statement made by Shirley Miller, public information officer for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’’s Department Santa Clarita Office, the Good Samaritan was able to flag down a nearby deputy and gave him a description of Mendoza’s vehicle.
The deputy later spotted the vehicle at another stoplight at the intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and White Canyon Road. The deputy also observed Mendoza falling asleep at the wheel.
When LACSD deputies pulled over Mendoza’s vehicle, they noted that in addition to the infant on Mendoza’s lap, there was a second child in the car, approximately five years of age in the back seat. The child was not wearing a seatbelt or restrained in a child safety seat.
Deputies gave Mendoza several field breathalyzer tests, all of which came back with a blood-alcohol level of .30 percent – more than three times California’s legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Deputies arrested Mendoza on the charges of misdemeanor DUI and felony child endangerment likely to cause great bodily injury.
Mendoza is currently being held on a $200,000 bond.