A Florida mom faces charges of child abuse and neglect after she was found asleep in her car with her children in the back seat and a nearly empty bottle of vodka next to her.
Carolina Buitrago, 39, was awoken by a police officer on April 17 after she became so intoxicated in her car that she passed out, WPLG reports. Buitrago was also reportedly charged with resisting arrest without violence.
Pembroke Pines police reported that Buitrago's two sons, aged 4 and 2, sat in the back seat covered in sweat. The 2-year-old reportedly needed to have his diaper changed by a neighbor because his mother was asleep. The 4-year-old boy reportedly had red scratch marks on his leg, which he said were from when his mother pinched him in the car "for no reason."
Two witnesses reportedly found the family, after one of the children rolled down a window to ask for helping waking his mother up. After the witnesses could not awaken Buitrago, they called the police.
After Buitrago awoke, she admitted that she had drank from the bottle of vodka while her sons were in the car, but said she didn't hurt them.
Buitrago reportedly wrapped her feet around the car to try to keep an officer from taking her away and allegedly ignored several commands from police to stop resisting.
The Broward Sheriff's Office Child Protective Investigative Section took custody of the boys, after they could not find another caretaker for them.
In January a couple in Sarasota, Florida, was found passed out in the front seat of their car with two small children, aged 1 year and 5 months, in the back seat.
William Ballard, 36, and Delaney Crissinger, 32, were arrested after they were discovered asleep in their car. Witnesses also reported seeing drugs in the vehicle. A search of the car found methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl along with a loaded syringe.
"We don't really see what addiction is about until we see something like that and that what saddens me most about it," said Eric Roundtree, who works at a nearby restaurant. "You're an adult, you can do what you want to do but don't bring your kids involved. And those two little innocent kids didn't have nothing to do with this but now they're shaken up."
"It's a sad situation all around," said Lt. Joe Giasone. "You've got people that are committing crimes and using drugs, doing those things, then you have them bringing their kids along with them creating other victims."