Shelby County woman arrested for DUI, aggravated child abuse

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

A Shelby County woman was arrested in Edgewater, Fla., on numerous charges, including aggravated child abuse, reckless driving and driving under the influence.

Lacey Whitaker, 22, of 812 Rock School Road in unincorporated Shelby County on the outskirts of Harpersville, committed an “intentional act that could reasonable be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a one-year-old child” on March 13 at 7:55 p.m., according to an Edgewater Police report.

Whitaker was allegedly driving a Honda Accord at a “high rate of speed without headlamps” while intoxicated to the point where her “normal faculties were impaired,” Edgewater Police officer Chad Anderson stated in his report.

The results of her Breathalyzer test were .213 and .206, nearly three times the .08 Florida legal alcohol limit.

Whitaker

When Anderson saw Whitaker’s driving, he followed her with his emergency lights flashing. Whitaker then allegedly drove into a Volkswagen Jetta, causing the Jetta to roll over onto its roof in the median. The wreck caused minor injuries to the driver of the overturned vehicle.

Whitaker allegedly drove another 75 feet before stopping. Anderson approached the car and observed Whitaker’s eyes were “glassy and bloodshot,” and her breath allegedly smelled of alcohol, the report said.

After helping Whitaker out of the car, Anderson heard a baby crying in the back seat. The 1-year-old child was strapped into a car seat in the back seat of the car, the report said. Anderson helped Whitaker unbuckle the baby and walk to the side of the road with the baby. Whitaker could not walk under her own faculties, the report stated.

Michael Thomas Sawyer of 930 Forest Hill Drive in Childersburg, who was in the passenger seat of the Accord, then got out of the car. He allegedly told Anderson he and Whitaker had been “drinking at a bar and it was Bike Week,” the report said. Sawyer said, “I work for a fire department” repeatedly and asked that the child receive medical care, the report said.

Anderson found Whitaker to be at fault in the crash. When Anderson asked Whitaker if she had been drinking, she allegedly said she’d had “five beers,” the report said. Additionally, Anderson asked her if she had taken any medication. Whitaker allegedly told Anderson she had taken Colotapin and Xanax, the report said.

She was placed under arrest for DUI and was taken to the Edgewater Police Department for processing. During processing, Whitaker “refused to sign three criminal citations,” the report said. The three citations were for DUI, DUI crash and reckless driving. In addition to these three citations, she was issued three more for refusing to sign them and was additionally charged, the report said. The report also stated she was charged with aggravated child abuse.

As of March 17, the Edgewater Police Department did not know the child’s status.

When contacted, Whitaker declined to comment.