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Police cite woman for letting 7-year-old daughter drive car


Forest Grove Police cited a Forest Grove woman last Wednesday for allegedly allowing her 7-year-old daughter to drive her car.

A concerned motorist called police at approximately 4:45 p.m. March 12 and reported seeing what they believed was a 5-year-old child driving a vehicle in the area of 23rd Avenue and Main Street, said Capt. Mike Herb of the Forest Grove Police Department.

“The caller followed the car and noticed that the child appeared to be sitting on a woman’s lap and was steering the vehicle,” Herb said, adding that the caller said the woman appeared to be intoxicated and that the vehicle was “swerving back and forth across the road into the oncoming lane and driving at an excessive speed.”

Police caught up to the vehicle, a black and white BMW Mini Cooper, in a parking lot near the 2700 block of Main Street. Officers noticed he child was still seated on the lap of the woman and observed the child’s hands on the steering wheel.

An investigation revealed that the woman sitting in the driver’s seat “was not intoxicated but at some point had began suffering a medical condition,” Herb said. Fire and medical crews treated and released her at the scene.

The mother, Rina Duval, said she had “knowingly allowed her daughter, who was determined to be 7 years old, drive the car because she (the mother) ‘had been allowed to do so when she was a child,’” noted Herb. Officers issued her a citation for “Reckless Endangering,” a Class A Misdemeanor subject to up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.