A mom, whom authorities say was too drunk to find her way home while driving with her 2-year-old daughter in the car, began her jail sentence this week.
Andrea Whitcomb, 24, pleaded no contest and was convicted last Thursday in Norwalk Municipal Court after being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and operating a vehicle with a child in the car while impaired.
She was ordered to serve 57 days in the Huron County Jail (60 total, with three days already served) beginning at 7 a.m. Monday.
Whitcomb also has been placed on two years of intensive probation and will have work release privileges on the final week of her jail term. Judge John Ridge suspended 120 days of the 180-day sentence.
On June 3, Whitcomb, then a Norwalk resident, was arrested with a blood-alcohol level of .171 percent — more than twice the legal limit in Ohio.
“This (is) alleged to be a first offense,” Ridge said early in the hearing.
As part of her community control sanctions, Whitcomb, 24, now of Sandusky, is prohibited from driving a vehicle with children inside after consuming “any amount of alcohol” for two years. Ridge also prohibited the defendant from consuming alcohol or “drugs of abuse” for the same time period and ordered her to attend counseling as directed by her probation officer.
Whitcomb had her driver’s license suspended for six months and was fined a total of $950 ($750 on the DUI conviction and another $200 for endangering children).
Whitcomb declined to speak on her own behalf in court. The state agreed to dismiss one count of DUI and an open container violation.
Her 2-year-old daughter was in the car during the June 3 incident on Milan Avenue. Police have said Whitcomb was too drunk to realize she passed her turn to get home, which was on Stower Lane at the time.
At 7:49 p.m., “a concerned motorist” reported the driver of a green Chevrolet Cavalier was traveling south on Milan Avenue “in a reckless and erratic manner,” Norwalk Police Officer Chris Kelley wrote in his report. Kelley reported finding an almost empty bottle of vodka under a seat during the traffic stop.
On Aug. 20, Perkins Township Police Officer Brent Adams had Whitcomb in custody on four failure to appear warrants. Whitcomb, who was arrested without incident, was released into the custody of a Norwalk officer about 15 minutes later.
Three days after the warrant arrest, Whitcomb was released from jail after posting a $10,200 bond.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Staff writer Cary Ashby contributed to this story.