Clarksville mom drove drunk with kids in car, police say - WKRN News 2

Clarksville mom drove drunk with kids in car, police say

Posted: Updated: April 3, 2014 06:12 PM
Ester Lopez, 44, is charged with DUI and child abuse. Ester Lopez, 44, is charged with DUI and child abuse.
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -

A Clarksville mother was arrested Monday after police said she drank alcohol and then got behind the wheel of a car with her two young children inside.

A witness called 911 after seeing Ester Lopez, 44, at the playground at the Saint Bethlehem Civitan Sports Complex.

The woman said she approached Lopez's car after she heard Lopez yelling at her children to shut the trunk of her car, which the children were too small to do.

The woman told a 911 operator, "I walked over and asked her if she is ok and I don't think she is sober at all."

The woman stayed on the line with the 911 operator as Lopez drove away from the park. She followed her giving the dispatcher a description of where Lopez was driving.

"She just went off the road and now she is back on the road," she said. "She is going off the road again."

Lopez was arrested a short time later at the Steak ‘n Shake on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard. Police found her slumped over in her car, which was parked sideways in the drive-thru.

Police charged Lopez with DUI, two counts of child abuse/neglect and with violation of the open container law.

According to the police report, Lopez appeared heavily intoxicated and at one point was crawling in the parking lot of the business.

Inside the vehicle, police found two open Bud Light Margarita cans.

Responding officers said Lopez's two six-year-old children were inside the vehicle and were visibly upset.

Lopez is charged with DUI and child abuse. She is being held in the Montgomery County jail on $10,000 bond.

Her children have since been placed in the care of their grandmother.

Josephine Denton lives across the street from Lopez. She told News 2 if the allegations against her are true it is out of character for the single mother.

"It is nothing that I would have dreamed that she would be in the car with her children because she loves her children," Denton said. "She took care of her children. They were cleaned well-dressed and well mannered."

Lopez's children were uninjured in the incident and are reportedly in the care of relatives.

Initially Lopez's bond was set at $2,500, but a judge increased her bond to $10,000 because of the severity of the charges against her.

She is due in a Montgomery County Court April 10 at 1:30 p.m.

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