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Milford Police on Leaving Children in Car

Important information for those wondering what the law has to say about children being left in cars unattended

 

Last week, Milford Patch received the following note from Christopher Donnells of Milford:

While this is important all year long, with the holidays upon us, we all feel stressed and the need to get a lot done.  And sometimes I see parents leave their children unattended in cars.  They may be running or not.  The adult may be running inside for a second but I feel that they should take their child with them.  But how, as citizens are we supposed to respond?

Milford Police Officer Jeff Nielsen responded with the following information and details of the law in Milford:

People should report this immediately to the police.

Sec. 53-21a. Leaving child unsupervised in place of public accommodation or motor vehicle. (a) Any parent, guardian or person having custody or control, or providing supervision, of any child under the age of twelve years who knowingly leaves such child unsupervised in a place of public accommodation or a motor vehicle for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child's health or safety, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. 

(b) Any parent, guardian or person having custody or control, or providing supervision, of any child under the age of twelve years who knowingly leaves such child unsupervised in a place of public accommodation, which holds a permit issued under chapter 545 for the sale of alcoholic liquor for consumption on the premises, for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child's health or safety, shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(c) Any parent, guardian or person having custody or control, or providing supervision, of any child under the age of twelve years who knowingly leaves such child unsupervised in a place of public accommodation or a motor vehicle between the hours of eight o'clock p.m. and six o'clock a.m. for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child's health or safety, shall be guilty of a class C felony.

Shelley Stoehr December 03, 2012 at 12:13 PM
What about a twelve year old with a younger child. When I was twelve, I was allowed to babysit. Is a twelve year old in the car sufficiently old enough to babysit a younger child of say 6 or 7 in the car?
David Chesler December 03, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Glad that it's not absolute. (In another state I was guilty when I step around the car to pump gas, or between the house and the car when faced with three toddlers but only two arms.) And it looks like over 12 is a safe harbor -- a little high for a minimum IMHO, but a start. Still there is that undefined "period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child's health or safety" -- is "just a second" for an 11-year-old outside a bar (B) at night (C) substantially risky?

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