NEW ORLEANS —A drunken father allegedly allowed his 8 year-old son to drive his pickup truck on an interstate highway in southeast Louisiana Saturday while he slept in the passenger seat, police said.
The boy was driving the truck on Interstate 12 near the town of Holden, with his father in the passenger seat and his 4-year-old sister in the back seat, Louisiana State Police said in a statement.
A passing motorist noticed the pickup truck was being driven erratically and called police.
When Louisiana state troopers pulled over the truck in Livingston Parish, they found the 8 year-old boy behind the wheel and interviewed the father, 28 year-old Billy Joe Madden of Hattiesburg, Miss., police said.
Police said they determined Madden was drunk and that he had been sleeping while his son drove the vehicle toward Dallas.
Madden was arrested and booked into jail on two counts of child desertion, parent allowing a minor to drive, open container and two counts of no child restraint and no seatbelt.
Madden remained in jail at Livingston Parish Detention Center in lieu of $1,474 bail, sheriff's deputy Dustin Sanders said.
Both of Madden's children were turned over to child welfare authorities and were awaiting the arrival of a family member who could take custody of them, police said.