A 25-year-old Hamilton woman faces a felony criminal child endangerment charge after allegedly driving drunk with three children in the car, including a 9-day-old.
April Marie Zito, appeared Monday on the felony charge and a misdemeanor count of driving while under the influence and driving while license suspended.
According to the charging affidavit, Hamilton police responded to a call from McDonalds. An employee there told police that while ordering food, Zito had been “very obnoxious, loud, and slurring her words.” When the woman attempted to pull up to the drive-thru window, she allegedly braked aggressively and caused the vehicle to jolt forward.
After a McDonald’s employee asked Zito to pull into a parking spot to await her order, the restaurant workers reported that she had trouble making that maneuver.
When the police arrived, they saw there were three small children in the backseat and the man sitting in the passenger seat was “very intoxicated.”
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Zito denied consuming alcohol. She told the officers she had given birth nine days earlier and was on the pain medication, oxycodone. She provided the officer with an identification card, explaining that her driver’s license was suspended.
At that point, the affidavit said Zito became very emotional and cried through the rest of the investigation.
Dispatch confirmed that Zito was on active probation and that her license had been suspended. A preliminary breath sample resulted in a 0.17 breath alcohol content. In Montana, a person is considered impaired with a .08 BAC.
Zito refused to give the names or birthdays of her children. The officer determined they were 9-days-old, a 1 to 2 year old and a 10 to 12 year old.
Ravalli County Justice Jim Bailey set bail at $2,500.