TORONTO – A 9-year-old boy from the Greater Toronto Area is being called a “hero” after he phoned 911 to tell police his mother was allegedly drinking and driving with him in the car.
“The boy is a hero, that’s for sure,” said York police Const. Andy Pattenden. “It’s an unbelievable situation where he has the wherewithal to make that call to 911 and stop basically an emergency or a crime in process even though it’s his mother.”
Police say they initially received a call Wednesday just before 4:30 p.m. from a mobile phone but did not make contact with the caller. When the dispatcher phoned back they spoke with a boy who said he was in a van with his mother who was drinking behind the wheel.
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The mother then got on the phone and told police she had just one drink before hanging up the phone, police say.
York officers determined the van was driving in the area of King Township, just north of Toronto, and officers pulled over a vehicle in the town of Newmarket where they arrested a 52-year-old woman for impaired driving.
The woman was taken to police headquarters in Newmarket for a breath test where she blew more than twice the legal limit, police said.
“It’s an amazing story. One I’ve never heard of in my time of policing,” Const. Pattenden said. “It’s unfortunate we can’t name him due to the circumstances, but let’s call him an unsung hero.”
York police say they have laid more than 1,500 charges related to impaired driving in 2015, which is up from 1,384 charges laid at the same time in 2014.
Const. Pattenden said police don’t know why the number of impaired drivers on Ontario is increasing but he hopes the story of this young boy is a positive sign for a future generation.
“We work 365 days of the year to get the message out there that there’s zero tolerance for impaired driving,” he said. “What is encouraging is that maybe that the next generation, in this case a 9-year-old, gets the message and maybe there’s hope these numbers will go down and hopefully make better choices.”
Anyone with further information about the incident is asked to contact York Regional Police directly at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7141 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-tips