Marin couple charged with letting 13-year-old drive

A Marin County couple arrested for letting a teen drive them home Sunday because they allegedly were intoxicated appeared in Marin County Superior Court Tuesday morning.

Heather Choulos, 32, of Mill Valley, and Donald Hughes, 29, of San Rafael, were arrested Sunday night after San Anselmo police officers saw a tan 2008 Land Rover stopped in the middle of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near Center Boulevard, Detective Cpl. Julie Gorwood said this afternoon.

The boy, the 13-year-old son of Choulos, was apparently driving because Choulos and Hughes had consumed a bottle of red wine at LoCoco's Italian Pizzeria on San Anselmo Avenue, Gorwood said.

The couple apparently were too intoxicated to drive and asked the teen to be their designated driver, Gorwood said.

The boy complied but stopped the Land Rover after he drove a few blocks, realized he was going the wrong way, turned around and became scared, Gorwood said.

Hughes and Choulos were outside the vehicle and the boy was in the back seat when officers arrived to investigate, Gorwood said.

Since no one was behind the wheel or in control of the vehicle, Hughes and Choulos were arrested for public intoxication and child
endangerment, but not DUI, Gorwood said. The boy's stepfather picked him up at the police station, Gorwood said.

Hughes and Choulos were booked into the Marin County jail and were released Monday night.

Gorwood said the child endangerment charge against Hughes was dismissed in court Tuesday morning but he still faces a public intoxication charge. He is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 2.

Choulos still faces both charges, Gorwood said. She will appear in court Oct. 28.

Gorwood said Choulos asked her son to drive.

“She made a bad decision,” Gorwood said.
 

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