By AARON KRAUSE
Reflector Staff Writer
A tearful Andrea L. Whitcomb pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of driving under the influence, an open container violation and child endangerment in connection with her 2-year-old daughter being in the vehicle.
Norwalk Municipal Judge John Ridge suspended Whitcomb’s license until Sept. 3 and set a pre-trial hearing for 10:30 a.m. June 29.
As Ridge went over procedural details with Whitcomb, she wiped tears from her eyes and folded her hands on the podium in front of her.
“I need a public defender,” said Whitcomb, 23, of 230 Stower Lane.
Ridge told her she needed to take steps to declare herself indigent. She didn’t make any statements.
Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light has said that on Thursday, Whitcomb was very intoxicated, and before being stopped, was speeding. He added that Whitcomb was too drunk to realize she passed her turn to get home.
At 7:49 p.m., “a concerned motorist called the station to report a green Chevy Cavalier was traveling southbound on U.S. 250 (Milan Avenue) in a reckless and erratic manner,” Officer Christopher Kelley wrote in his report. Kelley also said the driver’s BAC was “.315, nearly four times the legal limit” and reported finding an almost empty bottle of vodka under a seat.
Whitcomb’s daughter was released to her maternal grandmother. Light said there also were two dogs in the car, which also were handed over to Whitcomb’s mother.
The Cavalier was secured and left at the scene.
If convicted of child endangerment, Whitcomb faces up to six months in the Huron County Jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.