sigh….mommy d.u.i…….again

lindeOn the Main Line, it is once again Mommy DUI groundhog day. Yes, another Mommy DUI.  Karin Linde of Bala Cynwyd.  I believe Walt Hunter said in his interview on CBS3 that she is around 32.

Now I will note from jump that this mommy does not fit the socially upwardly mobile mold of the two other Main Line DUI mommies Meredith Williams-Earle and Grace  Tuten. Same area, similar age range, but this one is a  repeat DUI offender (see uploaded court docket “Linde prior.”)  This was the Olive Garden DUI mommy of 2011 that was in Patch. At that time, Bala Patch reported she blew a 0.38 blood-alcohol content, nearly five times the legal limit.

I took a major amount of guff from some when I wrote about the last Main Line Mommy DUI, but let’s fill you in on this current one before we circle back to my thoughts on this topic.

CBS 3: EXCLUSIVE: Another Main Line Mom Charged With DUI Crash With Child In The Car

December 6, 2013 3:51 PM

(Watch video HERE)

By Walt Hunter

VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) – A 32-year-old mother faces drunk driving and child endangerment charges after police say she plowed into the rear of a car Thursday night in Villanova, causing a chain-reaction crash. Officers found her 5-year-old son in the backseat.

Only CBS3 cameras were there as Linde was taken to Montgomery County Prison in lieu of $7,500 bail. …According to an arrest warrant, an officer “asked Linde if she had been drinking and she stated, ‘Well,ya.’ Then, according to the warrant, when asked to submit to a field sobriety test, she responded by “stating she was ‘smashed’ and that she in no way should be operating a motor vehicle.”

One other driver in the crash was treated for injuries. Linde’s 5-year-old son was not hurt, but police say he was not restrained in a booster….

Court records show Linde pleaded guilty to drunk driving and causing a serious injury crash following a 2007 accident.

Linde is the third mother charged with driving drunk and crashing her vehicle with her child in the backseat in the past four months in Lower Merion.

When I commented before on this topic I said that I feared an epidemic of these DUI mommies was brewing.

I will ask some of the same questions I asked before:

What has gone wrong here?  How do families not know if someone is having issues? Do that many people really in this day and age routinely drive around comfortably numb? And who exactly let her get behind the wheel of a car? Who lets an intoxicated young mother get behind the wheel of a car with a child in the back seat?

This woman Karin Linde is a repeat offender.  With these new charges (see Linde 2013 ) she went to jail.  They reported that her husband has the child. Thank goodness, I guess. Except if she is a repeat offender, how is it she is allowed to drive anyone around, let alone drive herself?

I will say it again that to me this is an alarming issue.  And with now multiple incidents (different women) to hit the news a couple of months apart , I will state again that I truly see this as an issue.

But if we are honest, by varying degrees this is not a new issue. It’s just not one discussed in public as much as whispered down the lane.

Once again, I want to try to show these women compassion.  But if I am brutally honest, with this one I am having a hard time doing so.  Why? Because this woman seems to have “oops, done it again” and wow,  when do you stop? When does the being a mother gene kick in?

Alcoholism is an awful disease.  I have friends who have been “in the program” for years.  Including now not so young moms. Some have been successful working their programs, others not so much.

When I wrote my last post in November on this sad topic I didn’t just catch hell from mommy bloggers who did not like me writing about this or mentioning these women by name (even if the media and law enforcement already “outed” them by name and location), I received a lot of off-line feedback from women who had experienced issues with alcohol and/or had been a child of one or more alcoholic parents.  They thanked me for talking about it. And shared some heart wrenching stories of their own.  I won’t betray those confidences, but I applaud them for being brave and dealing with it.

Some people with alcohol issues never hit the bottom to stop, some do. They have to want it.  You have to want to get better.

Tonight, nineteen days before Christmas a young mother from the Main Line sits in jail unable to post bail.  Somewhere, someone is undoubtedly trying to help her 5-year-old make sense of all of it.  Can you imagine being that child? Accident, noise, mahem, sirens….mom being taken away in the back of a police car.

My heart aches for the children of these people.  The littlest and almost silent victims.

And no parent wants to judge another parent, but my word this is hard to wrap my head around.  I guess at the end of the day I don’t get how you put the alcohol first, child last.

Here is hoping something good happens for this latest DUI mommy. But I am sorry, this one seems like more of a train wreck, given past acts.

She could have killed quite a few people including herself and her child.

main line mommy d.u.i…..again

4955-scene1-Concours

Looks like a happy scene right?  Folks enjoying a day of great cars in a beautiful setting and being snapped for the society pages of Main Line Today Magazine.  Yes, this is the Radnor Hunt Concour D’Elegance circa 2010.

And then this news breaks:

Wynnewood woman charged in DUI crash, child and dogs were also in the car

Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013   By Richard Ilgenfritz rilgenfritz@mainlinemedianews.com

mug shotLower Merion police say a woman was driving intoxicated with her 2-year-old child and two dogs when she crashed her car into a utility pole in the Bryn Mawr section of the township Friday.

As a result, the woman is facing numerous charges in connection with the case.

Grace Tuten, 32, of the 1000 block of Clover Hill Road in Wynnewood is facing charges of DUI, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangering another person, driving under a suspension, careless driving and related offenses….At police headquarters, Tuten recorded a blood alcohol level of .28, or more than three times the legal limit of .08.

Tuten’s 2-year-old son was a passenger in the car at the time of the crash, shortly after 8 p.m. He was found inside his child seat in the rear of the vehicle. The child was taken to Bryn Mawr Hospital for a precautionary evaluation. Two dogs were also found in the rear cargo area of the car.

The media reports indicate she crashed into a utility pole around Williamson Road and Morris Avenue in Bryn Mawr and kept driving even after that, hitting a mailbox and stuff in addition.  CBS 3 reports she was driving on a suspended licenseGrace Tuten appears to be pending her preliminary hearing as per the court dockets.

This accident which could have killed her, her small child, and two dogs occurred I would guesstimate less than a mile from the August DUI of Meredith Williams Earle that killed a florist delivery man in Bryn Mawr.  Meredith Williams-Earle goes to county court it looks like in early 2014. Williams-Earle’s attorney was in the newspaper in September saying his client should get her license back.

Here we have another sad state of affairs and the commonality is kind of eerie.  Both Main Line born and bred women and products of fine private schools and good colleges. Both married. Both have small children. Tuten is 32 and Williams-Earle is 30.

What has gone wrong here?  How do families not know if someone is having issues? Do that many people really in this day and age routinely drive around comfortably numb?  Where was Tuten coming from? It was 8 p.m. on a Friday so where was she coming from or going to and where was her husband? And who exactly let her get behind the wheel of a car?  With a blood alcohol level of 0.28 was she visibly intoxicated?  Who lets a young mother get into a car with her child and two dogs?

To me this is an alarming issue.  And with two to hit the news a couple months apart , I truly see this as an issue. But if we are honest, by varying degrees this is not a new issue. It’s just not one discussed in public as much as whispered down the lane.

These women like Grace Tuten need help and they need our compassion. I said that when I wrote the post titled “deadly decision”. I see another young mom in crisis here.

Who is listening to these women?  I wonder if these women had postpartum or other depression?  Or are they simply experiencing pressures of being a modern Main Line mommy?

Since I have moved to Chester County I have even encountered some similar mommies, closer to my own age.  One woman  in the Giant a few weeks ago literally reeked of alcohol when she passed me with her cart.  A friend said I should have called the police, but where was my proof?  I did not see her drink. We live in such a litigious society that can it be considered a real Catch 22.

Alcoholism is an awful disease.  I have friends who have been “in the program” for years.  Including now not so young moms. Some have been successful working their programs, others not so much.

I have no idea what was going on with this woman Grace Tuten but I do believe the pressures they experience as young moms and wives in an affluent area are very real.  And as a little girl, I remember the moms who were my mother’s generation who tippled.  One in the mid 1970s called her popping pills with a cocktail chaser a “mommy’s pick-me-up”.

Grace Tuten lives in Wynnewood but was in the Bryn Mawr close to Gladwyne area with her child and her dogs, so she was somewhere she knew people really well perhaps? Or at a local restaurant?

I don’t know the motive, don’t know the woman but I feel for her because as a friend of mine said today who is a mom who had postpartum that  she believes mothers just don’t intentionally put their kids in harm’s way. So I am going to stick with that.

The path to parenthood is not necessarily an easy one.  I know many women who didn’t make easy transitions from working girl to SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) or did the whole motherhood and career thing easily.

I can tell you as a stepmother in training to an awesome now teenager, I have not had it all come easily.  The love is there, but here I am in my late 40s becoming a parent for the first time.  It is hard work to be a parent. And while I have enjoyed my transition from a woman who worked her whole life to being in essence a mostly stay at home parent, it is not as easy as it sounds.  It sounds lovely, it is lovely, but it is a major life transition.  And wow can you feel guilty for keeping house which is a job in and of itself.

But with age comes life experience, so in some ways, I think it has been easier for me than some of the younger mothers.  With these younger women, they are not so many years removed from their single and young married party days.  Most of their Facebook pages tell that tale rather readily. So here they are in a fairy tale life to some that on the inside for whatever reason might not be such a fine fairy tale.  So do they drink socially and then it becomes drinking to take the edge off of the reality of life? Or do they just do the mommy pick me up to take the edge off and it gets out of hand?

I don’t really know.  All I know is this is yet another case of a well-educated, well-bred young woman ending up with a DUI with her child in the car.  I am hoping this is a topic that mom bloggers in the area will take up.  Why? Because I think there needs to be a conversation.

The pressure to be the perfect woman is a very real thing. And the sooner we, as women can learn to stop beating ourselves up for not being paragons of perfection, the better. And yes that is a lesson I also have to learn and accept. (Some days are just better than others and self-perception is a tricky and cheeky devil.)

I wish life and fixing life issues was as simple as Cher’s infamous line in “Moonstruck” – you know – “Snap out of it!” – but it’s not.  It takes work. Relationships take work, families take work.  Yes there is love and all the good stuff, but you get the good stuff by working together, don’t you?

So mom bloggers out there, I hope you will take the time to talk about this issue.  Not to be a salacious gossip, but to discuss how we can, as women, address this. And offer support but not enabling to those we might know who are in need.

This is just sad, and like I was sad for Meredith Williams-Earle, I am sad for Grace Tuten. So young to have screwed up so much. And the last thing to consider are the people who never think this will happen to them.  The “I’ll just have one drink” theory.