It may have been the "end of shift" for California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agents Saturday June 8, but that did not stop them from pulling over a dangerous and potentially deadly driver.
They were returning to their office in Riverside County after a long shift working a concert at the San Manuel Amphitheater when they witnessed a minivan swerving in the lanes southbound on Interstate 215. The minivan had numerous near-misses with other vehicles on the road and and nearly crashed into a barrier of a transition ramp as she exited the freeway.
ABC agents initiated a traffic stop and it took only one whiff for them to suspect alcohol. Inside the driver's van were the driver's five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter. Agents gave the driver a field sobriety test which she failed. A breath test confirmed she was under the influence. The result was .17%, more than twice the legal limit.
”Public safety is the first priority of every public safety official," said Steven Combre, ABC agent and vice president of the California Association of State Investigators (CASI). "This arrest not only protected the public from the inherent dangers of drunk driving, it also protected the welfare of the children involved.”
"We all know driving under the influence is dangerous and can be deadly," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). CSLEA is an association whose members include ABC agents and approximately 7,000 law enforcement, public safety and consumer protection professionals who work for the state of California. "It's hard to comprehend someone at point 17% getting behind the wheel, let alone driving like that with children in the car, putting them in harm's way and putting every other driver on the road in harm's way. I'm relieved our ABC agents were in the vicinity, able to intervene and no one was hurt. They should be very proud of their work. I know I am."
The driver was booked into Riverside County jail for DUI and felony child endangerment. The driver also had a warrant for welfare fraud out of San Bernardino County. The children were released to a family friend and Child Protective Services was notified and has initiated an investigation. The driver is identified as Carlisha Devona Holmes, 31, of Moreno Valley.