A 36-year-old Jonesboro man was in Clayton County Jail on Tuesday, charged with driving drunk with his four young children in the back seat of his pickup truck, Channel 2 Action News reported.
Sergio Aguilar has been charged with one count of driving under the influence and four counts of child endangerment by DUI, according to Clayton County Sheriff’s records. His wife denied that he was intoxicated.
Aguilar also has been charged with one count of driving without a license and two counts each of violating the state seat belt law and the law regarding child restraints, after Clayton County police found four youngsters – one of them 4 – in a seat with only three seat belts.
Two of the children were sharing a seat belt when they should have been riding in child safety seats, police said. The oldest child was 9, according to Aguilar's arrest warrant.
The incident happened shortly after midnight Monday when police stopped Aguilar’s red Ford F-150 at a road check on I-675. Police said Aguilar smelled of alcohol, and when they looked in the back seat, they saw four small children.
Aguilar blew .09 on a Breathalyzer test and was arrested and charged, police said. He is being held on multiple bonds, including $3,000 for the DUI count and $2,000 for each child endangerment charge, Clayton Sheriff’s records show.
His wife, Adriana Salazar, defended her husband and said he wasn’t drunk. She told Channel 2 she would have driven had her spouse been intoxicated. She said they were using the truck because the family's other vehicle, a Ford Expedition, wouldn't start.
Jose Perez, a friend of Aguilar, told Channel 2 that he was following Aguilar's truck and that the children were never in danger.
The incident was only the latest involving motorists who were allegedly driving drunk with children in their vehicles.
In January, a 34-year-old Roswell woman was charged with multiple offenses, including DUI child endangerment and reckless driving, after she crashed her car, with her 18-month-old son in the back seat, into two other vehicles on Old Alabama Road in Roswell. The woman then allegedly raised a ruckus at a hospital and fought with police.
In December, Roswell police arrested a 38-year-old Flowood, Miss., woman who allegedly was driving drunk and going 90 mph on Ga. 400 with a 17-month-old toddler in the back seat of her car. She was charged with DUI, speeding and child endangerment.
Last June, a 28-year-old Clayton County woman was jailed on charges of driving drunk and child endangerment after she allegedly wiped out a neighborhood picnic area and crashed into the stairs of a mobile home park leasing office with her children, ages 4 and 6, in her car. The woman reportedly had a blood-alcohol content of .392.