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'Highly intoxicated' grandma pleads guilty, fined for school incident

Cary Ashby • Mar 13, 2014 at 10:59 PM

A Milan woman pleaded guilty Monday to two charges related to being "highly intoxicated" when she picked up her grandchild and two neighborhood children from school.

LeAnne L. Afong, 57, of 26 W. Church St., appeared Monday in Milan Mayor's Court.

She was fined $250 for physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and $150 for public intoxication, Milan Police Chief Bob Meister said. Afong also had her driver's license suspended for six months.

"She was given three days in jail, but she could do the DIP in lieu of that," Meister said, referring to the driver intervention program.

Afong's charges are for an incident at 2:50 p.m. Thursday at Edison Elementary School.

Principal David Hermes informed police "there was a lady attempting to pick up her grandkids who appeared to be highly intoxicated," according to Sgt. Patrick Fox's report.

"He (Hermes) also stated she has been waiting outside the school for around 45 minutes, which is pretty unusual especially since it's cold out," the officer wrote in his report.

When Fox walked Afong around the corner of the building to speak to her privately, the officer said Afong was "very unsteady on her feet" and took "very slow, deliberate steps." The woman, who said she was there to pick up her 8-year-old grandchild and two neighbors, ages 3 and 9, denied she'd been drinking, but said she'd been taking a medication she couldn't name.

"I observed her speech to be thick tongued and she was slurring her words. Her eyes also appeared to be glassy and a little red. I could also smell a faint odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from her breath when she spoke to me," Fox said in his report.

At the scene, Alfong's blood-alcohol content level tested at .191 percent, Meister said. That's more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent for drivers in Ohio.

"Officially, it was .183," Meister said.

"The kids were never in the car. We were able to intercept her with the assistance of the elementary (school) staff before she took custody of the children. They were released to a relative," the chief added.

Fox, when interacting with Afong at the scene, asked her to go inside the school because it was cold.

"She was very unsteady on her feet as she needed to hold onto something as she walked and twice while pulling out the chair and trying to sit down," the officer wrote.

"She admitted to driving to the school to get the kids as she also admitted to parking illegally in the handicapped parking space because she wasn't going to be long," Fox added.

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