A married San Carlos couple is being accused of drinking and driving with four young children in their minivan — pulling over twice so they could guzzle down more beer — on the way home from a beach booze-fest last month.
James Arthur Lee, 54, and Wendy Maureen Lee, 43, are in custody after a sheriff’s deputy said he found 14 empty beer cans, an empty bottle of rum and a driver who could barely stand up in the pulled-over minivan Jan. 22.
The van also contained four children, including three boys and a girl between ages 2 and 8, according to San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
The couple spent the Saturday drinking at a beach in Half Moon Bay with the children, Wagstaffe said. James Lee allegedly drove the minivan back to San Carlos.
“Twice on the drive back they pulled the van to the side of the road so that father and mother suspects could drink more beer,” Wagstaffe said.
At around 5 p.m., the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office was called about a reckless driver on Laurel Street in San Carlos. A responding deputy said he saw James Lee drive through a stop sign and almost strike another car. The deputy pulled over the minivan, and said James Lee “had trouble standing up,” Wagstaffe said.
He had a blood alcohol content of .24 percent, and his wife .25 percent, Wagstaffe said.
There’s more to the story. James Lee had a restraining order prohibiting contact with his wife. Also, he was driving on a suspended license following a previous drunken driving conviction, Wagstaffe said.
James Lee is in custody on $75,000 bail, and Wendy Lee on $25,000 bail.
A preliminary hearing date is set for their case on Monday.
They’re facing four felony counts of child endangerment, and six misdemeanor counts including DUI.