Crime

Bradenton woman charged with driving drunk with boy, 11, in car

SARASOTA -- A Bradenton woman was arrested Monday on multiple drug and alcohol charges with driving drunk with an 11-year-old boy in her car, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

Jessica Thomas, 34, was charged with DUI with a child under 18 in the vehicle, fleeing to elude, child neglect, driving with a suspended license, possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of synthetic cannabis.

At around 7:30 p.m., deputies saw a swerving vehicle that nearly collided with another car, according to a release. They followed the vehicle into the McDonald's parking lot on North Washington Boulevard in Sarasota and told Thomas to park. After getting her food, deputies said Thomas continued south on U.S. 301.

When she was pulled over, the boy Thomas was with in the car told deputies that she had taken him to Joe's Bar in Bradenton where she works and let him play games while she drank with friends. According to a release, the boy said Thomas continued to drink as she drove and hit a number of curbs and he eventually pushed his seat back so he would be out of the way if the airbag deployed.

When deputies asked Thomas to get out of her car, they saw drug paraphernalia on the floorboard and discovered nearly eight grams of marijuana and packages of synthetic cannabis, according to a report. Breath test results showed that Thomas had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system.

According to the sheriff's office, Thomas is also charged with violating probation for an aggravated battery with a deadly weapon charge from St. John's County.

Thomas is currently being held at the Sarasota County Jail without bond, according to a release.

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