Man charged for letting minor drive


A man is facing multiple charges for allegedly allowing his 13-year-old to drive him due to his intoxication last week.

Kenneth Williams Jr., 41, of 723 S. Walnut St., Marysville, was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, wrongful entrustment, endangering children and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Urbana Police Chief Matt Lingrell said that last Thursday at 6:11 p.m., Urbana police were dispatched to the Dollar General store, 650 E. Water St., on a report of an intoxicated man in the store who had allegedly commented to the reporting person that he was having his 13-year-old son drive him around due to his intoxication.

The reporting person observed the son and knew he was too young to drive and notified police. The person further observed that the minor could barely be seen as he sat in the driver’s seat due to his short height.

The man and his son drove away before police arrived, but an officer found them in a nearby parking lot with the man, identified as Williams, sitting in the front passenger seat and his 13-year-old son sitting in the backseat.

In talking with Williams, police learned he had been at the Dollar General store and had made the comment about his son driving, but denied he was under the influence.

Police found that Williams had an outstanding arrest warrant from Franklin County for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and placed him under arrest on that charge. Williams was taken to the Tri-County Regional Jail.

Speaking with the son, police learned that the son had sat in the driver’s seat and had pushed the gas pedal to go in motion while Williams sat beside him and controlled the steering wheel as they drove to the nearby parking lot where police located them.

According to the Champaign County Municipal Court’s website, Williams’ bond was set at $3,000 on Friday and he was ordered to have no alcohol or alcohol offenses, no driving privileges and no contact with the minor child.

By Nick Walton

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

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