By Chris Wright, The News On 6
SAPULPA, OK -- A crash in Sapulpa on Thursday night is one of the first since a tough new law took effect this week. The law means stiffer penalties for those who drink and drive with children on board.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving lobbied for the new law, saying there should be consequences for drunk drivers who bring children along for the ride.
07/02/2009 Related Story: MADD Pleased With New DUI Law
"I think we often forget that our children are citizens. They just happen to be the weakest and most vulnerable. And often times, can't speak for themselves. This law will speak for them," said Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris.
Only a few hours after a news conference announcing the new law, Sapulpa Police say Robert Lowery, with a four and eight-year-old in tow crashed his car into a convenience store.
Lowery did not do a whole lot of damage to the store. In fact, a Tulsa World box got the worst of it. But, employees say when he got out and came inside, he was visibly intoxicated.
"That's when I called the cops and the cops came out there. He acted like he was drinking, so you know and he had kids in the car, so I was kinda concerned," said witness Misty Murray.
Misty Murray says Lowery told police he had been taking pain medication prescribed to him. The arresting officer said he could not even stand up straight.
Lowery was arrested on charges of driving under the influence, possession of narcotics, and the new charge, DUI while transporting a minor. That's a felony, and if convicted, could mean up to eight years behind bars, four for each child in the car.
Those who witnessed the collision have little sympathy for Lowery, saying he put himself in this position.
"That was pretty crazy. He definitely doesn't need to have them kids in the car. That was scary," said witness Misty Murray.
The crash is not Lowery's first DUI charge. He was convicted for driving under the influence in 2003.