My mother watches my baby during the day, she has admitted to drinking and then driving with him in the car. Can I file charges?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Seattle, WA

My mother is my babysitter during the day.She has admitted to me that she goes out and drinks and then drives with my baby in the car. Is there anything I can do? It has to be some kind of child endangerment right? It's extremely frustrating.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Dave Hawkins


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First off, find another babysitter. If you know she is doing this and you let her watch the baby, you can be charged with child endangerment if something happens. You can file a police report, but I'm relatively sure nothing will come of it -- find a new babysitter.

    The information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for... more
  2. Mark R Stephens

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As worded I doubt it. Her level of intoxication would be impossible to measure that long after the drinking. Furthermore (despite public sentiment) it is not a crime to consume alcohol but otherwise drive safely even with a child in the car. Either make other arrangements or monitor her drinking. If DSHS gets a report the child is endangered by your mother's drinking you could face legal problems for "failing to protect" the child. Good luck!

    I am licensed in Washington. I only practice law in this state. I limit my practice, and my answers on this site,... more
  3. John Groseclose


    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I concur with the other comments and add: 1) No, you will not be able to file charges, you can report the incident and law enforcement will chose to investigate or not and then prosecutor will decide to press charges or not. In this case, most likely not.
    You have a constitutional right to parent. You do not have to let your mother interact with the baby unsupervised. If I was litigating on behalf of the biological father - I would focus on you knowledge of the situation and continuation of allowing it to occur and claim that you were neglectful. (Sorry, but, attorneys get paid to argue and seize on stuff like this). There is no need for you to get a protection order or any sort of order - because, you have control over who interacts with your child and what circumstances. I suggest that you exercise some control and make sure it does not happen again.

  4. Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I can see nothing to be gained by reporting the matter to the police. On the other hand, this is your baby. You set the rules for your caretakers. If no alcohol is one of the rules, she should not be taking care of your baby.

    Driving after drinking is not an offense in any state that I know of. Driving while impaired is. Doing so with a child is much worse.

    Reporting this to the police will only result in bad feelings in your family and added expense. If you feel your mother has a problem with alcohol (1) don't give her your baby, and (2) see if there is some way you can persuade her to get help.

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