Memphis grandmother accused of driving drunk with 2-year-old in truck

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A grandmother is facing charges after Memphis Police say she was driving a truck while drunk with her 2-year-old grandson unbuckled inside.

Claudia Patterson is charged with child abuse and neglect, and several DUI-related charges. WREG discovered Patterson has been arrested for DUI multiple times.

Sunday night, a Memphis Police officer headed to a call noticed a speeding truck at the intersection of Sycamore View and Raleigh Lagrange.

The officer pulled over the truck and found 51-year-old Patterson behind the wheel. He said she stumbled out of the truck, smelling faintly of alcohol. He looked inside the truck, saying in a report it was in “disarray.”

When the officer asked for a drivers license, Patterson said she didn’t have one. She was taken into custody. 

As she was sitting in the back of the squad car, Patterson made a comment that her grandson was going to be so disappointed in her. 

When the officer asked about the grandson, he learned a 2-year-old boy was in the truck, but wasn’t visible because there were so many items in the truck.

The officer said the boy was in a child seat but not restrained with a harness or seat belt.

Investigators also say they found open beer cans in the truck, along with a bottle of Jim Beam in Patterson’s purse. 

As police looked into Patterson’s record, they discovered her license was revoked for DUI, listed as a habitual revoked offender.

We looked into Patterson’s previous arrests. Court records from an arrest for DUI in 2008 said at that time her license was also revoked. And at that time, nearly 13 years ago, she had at least five previous DUIs. 

No one answered at Patterson’s listed address Monday. No bond information was listed for Patterson.

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