Mom arrested after deputies say she let child drive

Francisca Darla Saria

GULF BREEZE, Fla. — A child sitting behind the wheel during a traffic stop resulted in an arrest for the child’s mother, who was in the passenger seat, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office told WALA.

This happened early Sunday, when a Santa Rosa County deputy observed a traffic violation. The driver was traveling westbound on Highway 98 in Gulf Breeze when the deputy observed the vehicle swerving, the sheriff’s office reports. The deputy conducted a traffic stop and discovered the driver was not only unlicensed but also underage — approximately 12 years old.

The adult parent was in the passenger seat, and there were two other juveniles seated in the back of the vehicle, according to a SRCSO news release.

After an investigation into the incident, the adult passenger responsible for the juveniles was arrested. The news release identifies her as Francisca Darla Saria.

She was arrested and charged with the following:

  • Permitting an Unauthorized Minor to Drive (Felony)
  • Child Neglect
  • Expired Registration
  • No Proof of Insurance

Bond was set at $23,000, according to the news release.

Jail records show 43-year-old Saria, of Milton, was released on bond Sunday.

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