Monday, August 1, 2011


Livingston Parish, Louisiana (SafeCITY) - Billy Joe Madden, a 28-year-old Hattiesburg man was jailed after he allegedly allowed his 8-year-old son drive his vehicle while he slept in the passenger seat.

According to Louisiana State Police, officers were dispatched following a report of a green Chevrolet pickup truck that was driving erratically on an interstate in Livingston Parish. The caller also reported that the it appeared like a child was driving the truck.

Investigators say when officers located and stopped the vehicle, they found an 8-year-old boy behind the wheel.

Madden, who was identified as the boy's father, was intoxicated and was sleeping in the passenger seat. Madden's 4-year-old daughter was also in the back seat of the vehicle.

Madden admitted that he let his son drive from Hattisburg to Dallas, Texas. Child Protective Services gained custody of the children until family members were able to pick them up. No injuries were reported.

Madden was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail and charged with two counts of child desertion, parent allowing a minor to drive, open container and two counts of no child restraint and no seat belt. His bond was set at $1,474.

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