updated 8/6/2009 12:05:23 PM ET 2009-08-06T16:05:23

An Alaska woman who let her 7-year-old son drive while she was passed out drunk in the passenger seat has been sentenced to 20 days in jail.

District Court Judge Raymond Funk also sentenced 37-year-old Karen Koch to three years of probation and six months of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported that Koch pleaded guilty to one count of reckless endangerment in exchange for prosecutors dropping a charge of allowing an unauthorized person to drive.

“While life as a single mother is hard, turning to alcohol and making stupid decisions puts the public at risk, puts you at risk and puts your child at risk,” District Court Judge Raymond Funk told Koch, according to thel paper.

She has three previous convictions for drunken driving and did not speak at Wednesday's court hearing.

'Made a mistake'
Koch’s public defender, Katie Kelliher, said her client "has realized she made a mistake," the local paper reported. “She misunderstood what she could and couldn’t do with allowing her child to drive. ... Alcohol was not a factor in her decision making until after the incident.”

A neighbor called troopers in May after seeing a young boy driving a car with a passenger passed out.

More on: Alaska

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments