In Melbourne, Florida, a police officer was dispatched to respond to reports of a suspicious car parked on the side of the road. When the cop arrived, he noticed that a man was slumped over in the front seat with the car running and with his feet on the brake. However, things would quickly turn to horror once he saw what was in the man’s hand, and it only got worse when he looked in the backseat.
A police officer with the Melbourne Police Department was dispatched to check out a suspicious vehicle that was parked in the intersection of Hibiscus and Harbor City Boulevard. After he arrived on the scene, he found a man, later identified as 32-year-old Travis Taffer, passed out with the ignition on, the vehicle in gear, his foot on the brake, and an open container of alcohol in his hand.
As if the situation wasn’t horrific enough, knowing the obviously intoxicated man could lift his foot at any moment, things only got worse for the officer when he glanced in the backseat and was met with another set of eyes. Trapped in the backseat of the intoxicated man’s car was a 16-month-old toddler.
Of course, officers quickly took matters into their own hands and “reached into the car to shift it into park and woke Taffer up,” according to Crime Watch. They knew they needed to act fast and get the toddler somewhere safe and away from Taffer.
They eventually performed a field sobriety test on Taffer, which only confirmed their suspicions of alcohol consumption. Taffer has since been arrested and taken to Brevard County Jail. He is facing a DUI charge. The toddler, who Taffer had placed in danger, was picked up by his mother at the scene, according to Space Coast Daily.
Making matters even worse, it was later learned that Taffer was on his way to pick up another 7-year-old child from school. Luckily, an anonymous concerned citizen contacted the police and potentially saved both these children’s lives.
Having an addiction can be crippling. However, if you know that you have a problem, at the very least, don’t put other people’s lives in danger – especially a child’s.
Clearly, Taffer knew at some point that he was responsible for not only caring for the toddler but transporting the 7-year-old from school. If he knew he had been drinking or even felt the urge to drink, he should have either resisted until the children were in someone else’s care or called someone else to do the job. Getting behind the wheel drunk is never okay, but putting a child in that situation with you makes it even worse.
Alcoholism is a severe problem in our country. Although it may be an addiction and is hard to kick, there is no reason anyone with the addiction should put a child at risk. In fact, no other lives should be placed on the line because of someone else’s problems – except their own.
Unfortunately, too many people are afraid to admit they have a problem, carelessly putting those they love in harm’s way. They often have the selfish and naive excuse that “it won’t happen to me.” Well, the truth of the matter is, it might – and it does every day.