HOPKINS (WCCO) — A 29-year-old mother was under the influence of alcohol when she drove her van into a ditch early Wednesday afternoon, according to police. Meanwhile, her two young children were home alone – one with her leg wedged between her crib slats.

Just after midnight Wednesday morning, Hopkins police officers responded to a Taco Bell drive-thru. When they arrived, they observed Emily Kate Pieper inside the van’s driver’s seat in the ditch.

According to the criminal complaint, officers said when she tried exiting the van, she fell and stumbled when she got back on her feet. Officers also noticed the smell of alcohol and that she had difficulty walking.

Pieper allegedly told police that she went the wrong way through the drive-thru and when she backed up, she went too far and ended up inside the ditch.

Pieper then failed a field sobriety test and was placed under arrest for driving under the influence, the complaint states.

That’s when she said her kids were at home and asked officers if she could check on them, since the babysitter had just left.

When officers entered the home, two children — an 18-month-old and a two-and-a-half-year-old — were found alone at home. The youngest child was discovered with her leg wedged in the crib.

Pieper has been charged with one gross misdemeanor charge of neglect of a child and fourth-degree DWI, which is a misdemeanor.


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