THE DALLES, Oregon -- A man was arrested for DUI and reckless endangerment after police said he was drinking in the passenger seat of his SUV while his 10-year-old son drove.
An Oregon State Police trooper saw the vehicle swerving and stopping in the roadway on Klindt Drive, in The Dalles, just before 11 a.m. Sunday, OSP Lt. Gregg Hastings said.
When the trooper pulled the SUV over, he noticed the passenger had taken over the steering wheel as the driver slowed to a stop in a nearby business parking lot.
The passenger was identified as 34-year-old Jose Israel Torres of The Dalles and his son was behind the wheel.
Torres had an open container of alcohol at his feet and several empty cans in the back seat, Hastings said. He was arrested for DUI, reckless driving and reckless endangerment. He was also cited for not having a valid driver's license, among other traffic violations.
Through a friend, Torres told KGW that he was only fulfilling his son's desire to drive. "He says he let his kid drive, maybe 50 yards, and they were going pretty slow. And that's when they saw the cop and there was nothing for him to do."
Torres called his wife to pick up their son, Hastings said. But when she arrived the trooper cited her for not having a valid driver's license either.
Friends eventually arrived to pick up the wife and son. The case has been referred to child protective services for follow-up.
Meantime, Torres appeared in court by video Monday afternoon. The prosecutor said Torres has a blood-alcohol level that was almost three-times the legal limit.
Torres also has a history of drunk driving, including four prior arrests.
(Photo courtesy of Kyle Iboshi)