Mom was driving drunk with kids, police say

Another driver spotted a maroon Chevrolet Trailblazer driving erratically on Buford Drive at 10 p.m. on Memorial Day, police said. The witness called 911, telling police the SUV was swerving all over the road.

"Fortunately, he was concerned enough that he stayed with the vehicle until we could get an officer to catch up to it,” Capt Greg Vaughn of the Lawrenceville Police Department told Channel 2.

Police said they stopped the SUV on Scenic Highway, and Tonya Ann Buice was driving. According to a police report, the responding officer also saw two children, ages 4 and 7, in the back in child safety seats, and smelled a strong odor of alcohol.

The 25-year-old Buice said she had only two 16-ounce beers earlier in the evening, police said. The woman told the officer she had just left Gainesville with her children and was heading home to Loganville.

As Buice stood outside her vehicle, the officer wrote in his report, "she was having a hard time standing still and she was swaying side to side during this time." He led her through a series of tests and said he observed six clues of intoxication.

A preliminary breath test returned a positive alcohol reading of .130 grams, the report said. Georgia's legal threshold for DUI is .08.

Buice was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, two counts of DUI endangering a minor and making an improper turn/lane change, according to Gwinnett County Detention Center records.

She was booked into jail shortly before midnight May 28 and was released on bonds totaling $3,843 the next day. Attempts by Channel 2 to reach the woman at home Wednesday were unsuccessful.

“That's a sad situation. It's a sad day when you put those children in that type of danger," Vaughn said.

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