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Melbourne mother accused of DUI with children in car

Woman attempted to pay for gas with car key, report shows

PALM BAY, Fla. – A Melbourne woman is accused of driving under the influence with two children in her car after she attempted to pay for gas with a car key at a Palm Bay gas station, according to police.

A 911 caller reported a woman sitting in her car Sunday around 10:30 p.m. at the BP gas station on Jupiter Boulevard with two children inside the vehicle.

The caller said the woman had tried to pay for gas with a car key and they suspected she was intoxicated, according to the arrest report.

"The complainant called and stated that she had come into their gas station and tried to pay for gas with a car key and that she left two children in the car," Lt. Mike Smith said.

When Palm Bay police arrived, they said they found Wendi Smith, 39, trying to insert a key into the ignition of her car. She told police she was trying to find the key hole and drive away, according to the report.

Officers said they found two children in the backseat and one child was crying and told the officers he thought they were lost.

Smith told police she was coming home from a birthday party and stopped at the gas station to use the bathroom, according to the report.

Officers said Smith lost her balance during a sobriety test and was having trouble keeping her eyes open. According to the arrest report, during a breath test, Smith blew blood alcohol concentrations of .177 and .183., more than twice the legal limit.

Smith is charged with DUI and felony child abuse. 

During a court appearance Tuesday, Smith said she's the mother of one of the children who was in her car.

Judge Kelly Ingram set her bond at $5,500 including conditions that Smith cannot drink alcohol and if she bonds out, she's subject to random drug and alcohol testing.

"There's quite a concern if your condition is true at the time you made contact with the officers with two children in the vehicle with you," Ingram said.

The Department of Children and Families will make a decision on the custody of Smith's child.


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