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Drunken Dad Lets His Eight-Year-Old Take The Wheel

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I cannot even imagine what a motorist driving down I-12 in Louisiana was thinking when they looked into the next lane and saw an eight-year-old behind the wheel. Thank goodness, one of those passersby notified the police.

When we joked last week about using your kids as designated drivers, we had no idea that someone would actually do this.

Billy Joe Madden, a Mississippi dad, decided to let his eight-year-old son drive their car on the interstate so that he could take a nap, while his four-year-old sat in the backseat… without a seat belt. The least surprising part of this story is that the father was intoxicated when he made this awesome decision.

Sarcasm aside, this story could have ended tragically. It includes a horrible trifecta of dangerous driving: drunkenness, underage driver and no seat belts. In every way, this could have led to a devastating and deadly accident. Thankfully, someone called 911 and the story ends with a father in jail and the children in Child Protective Services.

It seems insane to consider an adult allowing a child to drive their car. But then I realized how many YouTube videos there are of children driving. One seven-year-old even landed himself on The Today Show after stealing his parents car because he didn’t want to go to church. True, most of those videos are children who took their parents’ cars. However, there are also lots of parents who post videos of their own children behind the wheel. I really can’t wrap my head around it. I don’t understand how parents can endanger their children and the children of everyone around them. In this particular story, substance abuse obviously played a role. But maybe you should consider staying home if you’re too drunk to drive.

There’s no logic to be found behind this story. There’s no point in trying to form a lesson to be learned. Hopefully, we all know how dangerous this is. Thankfully, no one was hurt. I hope the little boy and his sister have extended family who can look out for them in the future.