'Highly intoxicated' grandma gets DUI after picking up children from school

Aaron Krause • Mar 12, 2014 at 5:42 AM

A village resident is accused of being "highly intoxicated" when she arrived to pick up her grandchild and two neighbor children from Milan Elementary School.

LeAnne L. Afong, 57, of 26 W. Church St., has a hearing scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday in Milan Mayor's Court to answer to a charge of having physical control of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, Milan Police Chief Bob Meister said.

Meister said that's a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of six months in jail and a possible fine of $1,000.

Milan Elementary Principal David Hermes informed Sgt. Patrick Fox of the incident immediately after school let out, almost 3 p.m. Thursday, Meister said.

Meister said the suspect admitted to driving to the school and Fox located the vehicle in front of the school. Inside was an empty bottle of a screwdriver concoction, Meister said. The chief also said the suspect admitted to consuming alcohol in Milan Cemetery before driving to pick up the children. She declined to comment how much she drank, Meister said. However, Meister said she slurred her words, her eyes were glassy, her tongue was thick and Fox smelled alcohol on her breath.

Afong originally underwent a portable breath test, which registered her blood-alcohol content at .191 -- two and a half times the legal limit of .08 percent for drivers in Ohio. Fox brought her to the station and conducted another breath test using a machine at the station. That test registered .183 percent, still more than twice the legal limit.

The 8-year-old grandchild, as well as the 3- and 9-year-old neighbor children and the suspect were released to a sober person. The children were eventually released to the custody of an uncle. Meister said the report doesn't mention anything about the children's parents.

Afong was released on a recognizance bond. A warrant will be issued for her arrest if she fails to appear for her hearing on Monday, Meister said.

The police chief said he has a "fundamental problem" with anyone who would put people at risk, especially small children.

"She was in enough of an intoxicated state there could've been some serious injury had there been a crash," the chief said.

He commended Fox.

"Sergeant Fox did an excellent job of following up with the investigation," Meister said.

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