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  #1  
Old 05-19-2010, 05:20 AM
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Default Drunk at Pick-Up Time

...no not me.

One of my newer dc dads has been showing up at pick-up time, I've suspected after at least a few drinks on a few occasions...I've never said anything. But yesterday, my husband was home and working in the front yard and met this dad for the first time and they chatted a bit. After dad and dcb left, my husband comes in and asks me what I was thinking letting the boy leave with his dad in the condition that dad was in?! So it hasn't just been my imagination thinking dad hasn't been sober every day. BTW, my husband manages a restaurant/bar and can spot an un-sober person a mile away

But, according to a good friend of mine on the local police force, as well as my insurance rep that I called last nite, I can't legally NOT release the boy to his dad. The best they suggest is releasing the boy, and then calling the pd and reporting a drunk driver. So okay, legally, I can't stop a parent from driving their kids home from daycare when they're drunk...but morally?? My thought is to discuss the issue with dcmom...ideas...suggestions??

Does anyone have a clause in their contract about parents being sober when they pick-up their kids??

It kills me that after 23 years of doing daycare and thinking that I've seen everything, now I have to deal with this So sad.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:42 AM
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I could care less about the law. I've had this happen once and I told the parent to bugger off and come back when they weren't drunk. Go home... sleep it off.. and then come back. I had her kids until noon the next day (Saturday) and then I terminated them.

Just tell him he can't pick his kids up if he has been drinking. If he does it again you will call the police. If you smell a whiff of alcohol on him or he appears even SLIGHTLY intoxicated you will call. Be firm.

I'd be hateful about it but that's just me. I've learned to not be nice when situations like this happen. I don't like it and I'm going to be happy to tell them I don't. I don't need a dead kid on my conscience for the rest of my life. NO thanks.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:05 AM
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That's been a rule in every daycare I've worked at. You cannot legally keep a child from their parent if they are drunk. You can request that you call someone else to pick them up, but if they say 'No" you have to let them go. And then call the police.

I think it's terrible. I told my husband that rule one night and he was outraged. What kind of world do we live in?
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:08 AM
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I have it in my policy that if parents or authorized pick up person comes to retrieve child in an "altered state" that I will call the emergency pickup immediately and make my way down the list if needed. If they choose to leave with the child after I have questioned their condition, I will call the police.
It's part of my handbook/contract that I explain and have parents initial beside. My DCFS lady liked it and explained that I couldn't keep a child from their parents, but it was a way out for them and they know what will happen from the get go.
I've never had to use it though, so I don't know how well it would work out.

I did decline services to someone who was calling, and calling, and calling, and was obviously inebriated the first and last time she called. I honestly think she might have been forgetting that we turned her down.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:31 AM
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I agree how crazy of a rule it is. I would for sure contact your licensing consultant (if you are licensed) or the state to see what your state laws are. For sure call the police and report him as a drunk driver not only for the safety of the child but everyone else on the road!
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:42 AM
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Haven't had this one yet, thank God! I'm with nannyde on this one though. Legal or not I'd refuse to release him, call emergency contacts to pick up, keep the child as long as it takes to get a sober ride, and then probably terminate. What's the dad going to do? Call the police?
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2010, 07:22 AM
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This is what my contract says regarding drinking being suspected at pick up time:

"If I smell alcohol on the breath of the person picking up the child I will call someone else to come and pick up the child or a cab (which you will pay for). If you leave with the child, I will call 911 to have someone pull the car over. (I am required by law to do something). The safety of the children comes first in this situation. "
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  #8  
Old 05-19-2010, 07:26 AM
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I've had this situation as well...except Dad was high as a kite.

I called Mom and told her that if I even suspected that Dad was high again, I would call the police. And I would have. It is illegal to keep a child from his parent. The only thing you can do is dial 911.
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:27 AM
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Wow!!! I would definitely talk with the mom about your concerns. I have not dealt with this before so I don't know how I would react but those kids' lives could be in danger. Sad!
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  #10  
Old 05-19-2010, 08:21 AM
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There's a technical word for us keeping the child from the parent - even in a drunken state - it's called kidnapping. We have no legal right to keep a child from their parent. All we can do is plead with the parent to leave them here and find a ride home, make the calls to alternates, and call 911.

We all should have something in our policy about this. So the parents know what to expect.
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  #11  
Old 05-19-2010, 08:24 AM
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I have had this situation before. Mom was a bar waitress and would show up at 4am drunk to pickup dcb. I very nicely but firmly told her she was welcome to sleep it off on my couch or I had to call and report a drunk driver/child endangerment issue to the police. She chose to sleep it off on my couch. Two other times she slept it off in her van in my driveway. At least the child was safe. She now longer brings her child here, she was in an accident on the way home from work and has become disabled, living back at home with her parents raising the boy.
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  #12  
Old 05-19-2010, 08:57 AM
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This is a sad and dangerous situation. My handbook states the following:

"If anyone picking up your child appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, another authorized person will be called to pick up both the child and the intoxicated adult."

I would refuse to release the child even though it's against the law. It's highly unlikely that the drunk parent will call the police to your house considering the condition they are in.

It's going to be tough but I think that you should have a talk with the mom. Expect backlash from the dad though.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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  #13  
Old 05-19-2010, 09:54 AM
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I agree will the posters that are saying "what's the dad going to do, call the police?" All I can think of is what is the greater harm: upset parents, the possibility of legal action, OR a dead child? Thank GOD I have never been in that situation. However, if your husband is home when this father picks up, have your husband right there when the father comes and have your husband engage the father in conversation to stall while you step into another room (say your looking for the child's sippy cup or something) and call the police. The police will probably come and not do anything right away. But they probably will speak to the father, realize he's intoxicated, then wait for him to start to back away. As soon as his car budges, bam, they've got him for DUI, child endangerment, whatever. And maybe you will be helping the father to realize the danger he is putting his child in and it will be the wake-up call he needs to get into treatment.
Will you lose the client? Probably. But I'd rather lose a client than lose a child.
I'll pray for you and, especially for this father's child.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:04 AM
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I like the sleep it off on the couch and cab ideas. I'm not going to keep them from their child (unless they are being violent), but if there's anything at all I can do to stop them from getting behind the wheel I'm going to do it. I'll take my chances with them calling the authorities on me. What are they going to do call the cops and try to drive off intoxicated while they are there? They won't get far if the police let him get into the car at all. Sounds like a better scenario to me than calling 911 after they leave and hoping they can find them on the road before they wreck and kill themselves or someone else. I'll take my chances that I'll get into trouble in that situation.
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  #15  
Old 05-19-2010, 11:10 AM
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~ If I suspect the person picking up the child to be under the influence of a substance or otherwise unable to safely transport a child, I will attempt to find an alternate driver through your contact information or by calling someone for you. I cannot by LAW refuse to allow you to pick up your child, but should you or someone you appoint to transport your child choose to drive impaired, I will notify authorities and report the drivers name, and vehicle description. I know some of these rules seem a bit harsh, but remember everything n this document is here for a reason and its my love for the children and my promise to care for them to the best of my ability that makes me do things this way.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Pammie View Post
...no not me.

One of my newer dc dads has been showing up at pick-up time, I've suspected after at least a few drinks on a few occasions...I've never said anything. But yesterday, my husband was home and working in the front yard and met this dad for the first time and they chatted a bit. After dad and dcb left, my husband comes in and asks me what I was thinking letting the boy leave with his dad in the condition that dad was in?! So it hasn't just been my imagination thinking dad hasn't been sober every day. BTW, my husband manages a restaurant/bar and can spot an un-sober person a mile away

But, according to a good friend of mine on the local police force, as well as my insurance rep that I called last nite, I can't legally NOT release the boy to his dad. The best they suggest is releasing the boy, and then calling the pd and reporting a drunk driver. So okay, legally, I can't stop a parent from driving their kids home from daycare when they're drunk...but morally?? My thought is to discuss the issue with dcmom...ideas...suggestions??

Does anyone have a clause in their contract about parents being sober when they pick-up their kids??

It kills me that after 23 years of doing daycare and thinking that I've seen everything, now I have to deal with this So sad.
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  #16  
Old 05-19-2010, 12:01 PM
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Okay maybe it's just me but I'm a mandated reporter and I'm forced to legally and morally to report anything like this. I'd simply tell the parent that I don't feel comfortable releasing the child to a person that is intoxicated and that he needs to find someone else to come by and pick the child up. Technically I didn't say that I wasn't releasing the child, only that I didn't feel comfortable doing it. If he argues, I'd tell him that if he takes the child anyway I will be forced to call the police and give the license plate number, discription of the car, home address and all of the parent's information (which all of us should have in our files) to report a drunk driver and child endangerment AND then that call will be followed by a call to Child Protective Services. If he still gives me a problem I'd hand him my telephone and tell him to call the police on me and ask him to wait until they arrived then ask him if he changed his mind and would like to call someone to pick them both up.

I mean, what's a person that's been drinking going to do? Call the police on me for kidnapping? I never said I wasn't releasing the child, I just said I didn't recommend it. If I call the police myself while the parent is there because the parent has been drinking and wants to take his child and drive I'd have him explain that to the police himself. Have him take a breathalizer. My excuse? I'm required by law to report SUSPECTED child abuse or endangerment to the authorities. Once the police showed up I'd explain to them that I never said I wouldn't release the child. Granted I better be prepared to lose this client but I'd rather lose a child as a client than to lose a child because he got in an accident and dies.
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  #17  
Old 05-20-2010, 12:33 PM
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Default A bad situation...

There's no easy way out of that one. Every fiber of my being would want to keep the child with me but I really don't want to be brought up on kidnapping charges. That being said, I wouldn't keep the parent from taking their child, but I would stall like crazy and call the police immediately. I would try to give the police enough time to get to my house before the parent had a chance to drive off. I would also call child protective services because if a parent will pick up their child from daycare drunk or high, who knows what goes on behind closed doors?
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkfan428 View Post
That's been a rule in every daycare I've worked at. You cannot legally keep a child from their parent if they are drunk. You can request that you call someone else to pick them up, but if they say 'No" you have to let them go. And then call the police.

I think it's terrible. I told my husband that rule one night and he was outraged. What kind of world do we live in?
Quote:
Originally Posted by emosks View Post
I agree how crazy of a rule it is. I would for sure contact your licensing consultant (if you are licensed) or the state to see what your state laws are. For sure call the police and report him as a drunk driver not only for the safety of the child but everyone else on the road!
Laws vary from one state to another, and if I recall correctly, in MN, we are not permitted to release a child into the care of a drunken driver.

That's the legal side....anyone want to talk about liability here?

Dad picks up child in an inebriated condition. Dad heads down road, blows stop sign, T-bones someone, child is killed (drunks almost always survive for some reason). Toxicology report shows that Dad was WAAAYYYY over the legal limit.

Mom is irate that you released child into drunken drivers care.
Mom sues you for negligence.
You lose.
Big time.

You now live in a cardboard box under the bridge.

Still thinking about releasing that child to a drunk driver?



Ask yourself this....would you let YOUR child get in that car?

Then why are you letting this child get in that car?
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:53 PM
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I was wondering about liability too. Thanks, Chickenhauler, for bringing that up. My husband brought up, "what if the parent only had a 1 drink and is not legally drunk. You just got CPS called on someone who was perfectly fine to drive." I told him that it is not my job to "investigate" the situation, just to report it. Just like I can't say he's over the limit, I can't guarantee that he's under the limit, either.

You can always argue or justify your way out of a legal mess, but you can't argue or justify someone back to life.
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:17 PM
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Chickenhauler,

You've convinced me to change my mind. Thank you.
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickenhauler View Post
Laws vary from one state to another, and if I recall correctly, in MN, we are not permitted to release a child into the care of a drunken driver.

That's the legal side....anyone want to talk about liability here?

Dad picks up child in an inebriated condition. Dad heads down road, blows stop sign, T-bones someone, child is killed (drunks almost always survive for some reason). Toxicology report shows that Dad was WAAAYYYY over the legal limit.

Mom is irate that you released child into drunken drivers care.
Mom sues you for negligence.
You lose.
Big time.

You now live in a cardboard box under the bridge.

Still thinking about releasing that child to a drunk driver?



Ask yourself this....would you let YOUR child get in that car?

Then why are you letting this child get in that car?
Honestly I don't give a flip about the law on this. I simply do NOT care. I don't know the law in my State and I won't bother looking it up. I would not EVER release a kid to a parent who was drunk. NEVER NEVER NEVER I will take the kidnapping charge thankyouverymuch. Good luck getting a judge or a jury to find you guilty on that.
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:56 PM
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I do not see the "kidnapping" as long as you are not keeping the parent from the child, but merely refusing to let them leave.
Here's what I would think would be the greatest liability - False Imprisonment.

Definition: False imprisonment is the detention of a person without any justification, consent, or authorization by law.

Justification - life or death situation, adult smelled of alcohol, possible risk to self, child, and other motorists / pedestrians, time frame was reasonable to allow for law enforcement to arrive any make a determination.

Consent - If you have this in your contract (no release to intoxicated person), they have GIVEN consent for you to restrain them in this circumstance. If you don't have it in, you could argue IMPLIED CONSENT based on the fact that they are entrusting the child into your care for protection and that duty does not end until they are off your property.

Now the law is different from state to state, so the wording may be different, but it usually allows for the "consent" exclusion. Put it in the contract and you're covered. They would be hard pressed for any recourse.

Wow - I'm having flashbacks to law school, which seems like a lifetime ago! FYI - there's always a loophole. There are rules, exceptions to the rule, exclusion to those exceptions, etc.
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by professionalmom View Post
I do not see the "kidnapping" as long as you are not keeping the parent from the child, but merely refusing to let them leave.
Here's what I would think would be the greatest liability - False Imprisonment.

Definition: False imprisonment is the detention of a person without any justification, consent, or authorization by law.

Justification - life or death situation, adult smelled of alcohol, possible risk to self, child, and other motorists / pedestrians, time frame was reasonable to allow for law enforcement to arrive any make a determination.

Consent - If you have this in your contract (no release to intoxicated person), they have GIVEN consent for you to restrain them in this circumstance. If you don't have it in, you could argue IMPLIED CONSENT based on the fact that they are entrusting the child into your care for protection and that duty does not end until they are off your property.

Now the law is different from state to state, so the wording may be different, but it usually allows for the "consent" exclusion. Put it in the contract and you're covered. They would be hard pressed for any recourse.

Wow - I'm having flashbacks to law school, which seems like a lifetime ago! FYI - there's always a loophole. There are rules, exceptions to the rule, exclusion to those exceptions, etc.
Sounds good to me!
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by professionalmom View Post
I do not see the "kidnapping" as long as you are not keeping the parent from the child, but merely refusing to let them leave.
Here's what I would think would be the greatest liability - False Imprisonment.

Definition: False imprisonment is the detention of a person without any justification, consent, or authorization by law.

Justification - life or death situation, adult smelled of alcohol, possible risk to self, child, and other motorists / pedestrians, time frame was reasonable to allow for law enforcement to arrive any make a determination.

Consent - If you have this in your contract (no release to intoxicated person), they have GIVEN consent for you to restrain them in this circumstance. If you don't have it in, you could argue IMPLIED CONSENT based on the fact that they are entrusting the child into your care for protection and that duty does not end until they are off your property.

Now the law is different from state to state, so the wording may be different, but it usually allows for the "consent" exclusion. Put it in the contract and you're covered. They would be hard pressed for any recourse.

Wow - I'm having flashbacks to law school, which seems like a lifetime ago! FYI - there's always a loophole. There are rules, exceptions to the rule, exclusion to those exceptions, etc.
You make some very good points there with the consent/implied consent!


Another one to ponder....if you refuse to release the child into an intoxicated person's care/vehicle, what are they going to do? Call the cops?

And what do you think the police are going to do first thing when they arrive and drunken angry guy (and his car) are in your front yard?

Cars don't teleport themselves, and I don't have a bar on my front lawn.......DUI!
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:29 PM
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I left my job as a 911 dispatcher a year ago. We received these calls all the time about drunk drivers. Not necessarily a parent picking up a child at daycare, but citizens calling in on other drivers, restaurants calling in on patrons leaving, family members calling about someone leaving their house, even a parent calling in on another parent who had just picked a child up for visitation.

We would get as much of a vehicle description as we could, the exact location the vehicle was last seen in, and their direction of travel. We would then put it out over the air...

In my 5 years in that job, I can only remember one time an officer actually paid attention to information, happen to be in the exact spot the vehicle was in, and pulled them over. The rest of the time, the information was ignored. No officers went looking for these people. The did NOT respond. No one paid attention to what was said.

The only time that it actually worked was when some would follow the driver, against our *ahem* advice not to and repeated warnings that the police department would not be liable for their safety.

I'm not saying that EVERY police department is like this. But if it is a large city, or even a medium sized city...it is more likely that your phone call will fall on deaf ears.

I don't know whether or not kidnapping charges or false imprisonment charges could be brought up if you refuse to keep the child... I'm just saying you are more likely to get a police response if you do.
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:17 PM
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Well put.. this is how I feel too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
Okay maybe it's just me but I'm a mandated reporter and I'm forced to legally and morally to report anything like this. I'd simply tell the parent that I don't feel comfortable releasing the child to a person that is intoxicated and that he needs to find someone else to come by and pick the child up. Technically I didn't say that I wasn't releasing the child, only that I didn't feel comfortable doing it. If he argues, I'd tell him that if he takes the child anyway I will be forced to call the police and give the license plate number, discription of the car, home address and all of the parent's information (which all of us should have in our files) to report a drunk driver and child endangerment AND then that call will be followed by a call to Child Protective Services. If he still gives me a problem I'd hand him my telephone and tell him to call the police on me and ask him to wait until they arrived then ask him if he changed his mind and would like to call someone to pick them both up.

I mean, what's a person that's been drinking going to do? Call the police on me for kidnapping? I never said I wasn't releasing the child, I just said I didn't recommend it. If I call the police myself while the parent is there because the parent has been drinking and wants to take his child and drive I'd have him explain that to the police himself. Have him take a breathalizer. My excuse? I'm required by law to report SUSPECTED child abuse or endangerment to the authorities. Once the police showed up I'd explain to them that I never said I wouldn't release the child. Granted I better be prepared to lose this client but I'd rather lose a child as a client than to lose a child because he got in an accident and dies.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:20 PM
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Thumbs down How bout DayCare Owner being drunk when you pick up kid?

Yea, I've been to pick my kid up and ***-owner was drunk and smelled like liqueur. To top it off she had a lit cigarette in her hand while kissing my kid bye! My child has bronchial asthma and SHE KNOWS THIS! Needless to say, my daughter does not go to Home ***** Daycare in Twin City anymore and I wouldn't trust **** to watch my dogs!
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:36 PM
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I know in my state, I would be required to call protective services. I am not sure if I would be allowed/required to release to that parent. Is there a back-up number/person you could call? Could you just call protective services right now?
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:58 AM
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I could care less about the law. I've had this happen once and I told the parent to bugger off and come back when they weren't drunk. Go home... sleep it off.. and then come back. I had her kids until noon the next day (Saturday) and then I terminated them.

Just tell him he can't pick his kids up if he has been drinking. If he does it again you will call the police. If you smell a whiff of alcohol on him or he appears even SLIGHTLY intoxicated you will call. Be firm.

I'd be hateful about it but that's just me. I've learned to not be nice when situations like this happen. I don't like it and I'm going to be happy to tell them I don't. I don't need a dead kid on my conscience for the rest of my life. NO thanks.
This. I don't care what the law says. I give them the option to call someone else to pick up the child, or I will call the police and let them decide how to handle it.
The one time the cops actually had to be called and showed up, they THANKED me for calling them.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Pammie View Post
...no not me.

One of my newer dc dads has been showing up at pick-up time, I've suspected after at least a few drinks on a few occasions...I've never said anything. But yesterday, my husband was home and working in the front yard and met this dad for the first time and they chatted a bit. After dad and dcb left, my husband comes in and asks me what I was thinking letting the boy leave with his dad in the condition that dad was in?! So it hasn't just been my imagination thinking dad hasn't been sober every day. BTW, my husband manages a restaurant/bar and can spot an un-sober person a mile away

But, according to a good friend of mine on the local police force, as well as my insurance rep that I called last nite, I can't legally NOT release the boy to his dad. The best they suggest is releasing the boy, and then calling the pd and reporting a drunk driver. So okay, legally, I can't stop a parent from driving their kids home from daycare when they're drunk...but morally?? My thought is to discuss the issue with dcmom...ideas...suggestions??

Does anyone have a clause in their contract about parents being sober when they pick-up their kids??

It kills me that after 23 years of doing daycare and thinking that I've seen everything, now I have to deal with this So sad.

Let me start by saying that if I suspected that one of my parents were drunk taking their child, I would be calling the police and having them sit by my house and pull him over. Having said that, can I ask why you think he's drunk? Is it his behavior or can you actually smell alcohol on him. The reason I'm asking is because I have 2 relatives that have MS and when they are having issues with their medicine, they appear drunk. They slur their words, they don't walk right, just like a drunk. Actually my one cousin even when she wasn't having problems with her meds, but just having a flair up, she acted drunk. There is also a local newscaster in our area and everyone asks if he is drunk, when in fact he had had a stroke. Is it a possibility that that is his issue?
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:49 PM
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Old, old thread guys
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
Old, old thread guys
holy cow, I guess you're right 2010!! Guess I don't look at the dates when I'm reading
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
I could care less about the law. I've had this happen once and I told the parent to bugger off and come back when they weren't drunk. Go home... sleep it off.. and then come back. I had her kids until noon the next day (Saturday) and then I terminated them.

Just tell him he can't pick his kids up if he has been drinking. If he does it again you will call the police. If you smell a whiff of alcohol on him or he appears even SLIGHTLY intoxicated you will call. Be firm.

I'd be hateful about it but that's just me. I've learned to not be nice when situations like this happen. I don't like it and I'm going to be happy to tell them I don't. I don't need a dead kid on my conscience for the rest of my life. NO thanks.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:05 AM
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Honestly I don't give a flip about the law on this. I simply do NOT care. I don't know the law in my State and I won't bother looking it up. I would not EVER release a kid to a parent who was drunk. NEVER NEVER NEVER I will take the kidnapping charge thankyouverymuch. Good luck getting a judge or a jury to find you guilty on that.
I agree with this.... common sense.

I would not keep the child over night. I would call back up to come and get the child, or whatever I have to do. No back up then I would involve the police. I would also call the police if the parent drove off. That parent is endangering others lives and his- I am not playing around with drinking and driving!!!
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
Old, old thread guys
This might be an old thread but it is well worth bringing it up again.

I would call the police if a parent that I thought had been drinking tried to take the child. I would stall the parent, call 911 and request immediate back up at my address. Then deal with it when the police arrived. I would rather be wrong then have a tragedy happen on me. We are all mandated reporters and this is covered under that-
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:27 AM
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I had daycare years ago when my youngest daughters were little, and just recently restarted.
In my old policy I had added a clause about parents arriving to pick up their child who were obviously under the influence. It stated that I may ask them not to take the child or to have someone else come pick them up. As I KNOW you cannot stop a parent from taking their child, I also added that if they insist on taking the child that the local police department would be notified immediately.
I no longer had an issue with this particular dad who was the reasoning behind creating that clause...he was an alcoholic and eventually committed suicide a few years after the kids were no longer in my care.
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