LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) - A Lawrence mother is accused of driving drunk with her two children in the car and it’s not the first time.
Mary Elizabeth Womack, 31, was picked up on Saturday by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Officer and charged with DUI. This is at least her fourth DUI charge.
She already had a breathalyzer device in her car when she was pulled over. She is also charged with battery and two counts of endangering a child.
Womack is a mother of at least two children and someone prosecutors call a habitual drunk driver. What makes Womack stand out is not just the number of DUI convictions, but the passengers in her car when she’s been pulled over for driving drunk.
According to court records, in three of four drunk driving convictions in Douglas County, Womack has had at least one child in the car with her – on Feb. 5, 2003, July 20, 2009 and Feb. 15, 2010.
On Oct. 17, 2004 Womack was convicted of DUI after an accident, but there was no child in the car at that time.
Most recently was the Saturday incident. At 12:30 p.m. Womack was stopped again, this time in Johnson County on Kansas Highway 10 near Evening Star Road. She’s been charged with DUI, obstruction of the legal process, two counts of endangering a child, driving without an interlock device and battery.
“It’s sad that a parent would be that immature, but also subject her child to that lifestyle,” said Patrick Sudac who lived across the street from Womack last year.
He says he had just one encounter with his neighbor, but it’s one he will never forget.
“She came over and asked if she could smoke weed and we weren’t prepared for the question. We didn’t really know how to respond, we were all just kind of creeped,” he said.
Sudac said when Womack knocked at his door, she had a child with her.
KCTV5 knocked on Womack’s door, but no one answered. She’s currently on house arrest with a GPS monitor and required to wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe couldn’t talk specifically about Womack’s case, but says it’s not uncommon for people to have multiple DUI convictions. He believes laws need to change to protect the public against habitual drunk drivers.
“We think we need to craft some way to hold these habitual offenders more accountable because they pose a huge risk to the public. Anytime you’re driving a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds it’s a weapon,” Howe said.
Child endangerment charges were dismissed as part of a plea in the previous cases. In the case connected to Saturday, Womack is not allowed any contact with her children without a court order.
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