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Woman Charged For Giving Alcohol To a Toddler

Liquor bottles lined up on a shelf

A woman gave a baby alcohol mixed with juice, causing the child to get sick.

64-year-old Deborah A. Holloway of Muskegon has been charged with child abuse for allegedly giving alcohol to a child that she was caring for. Based on the fat that she has a substantial criminal record, Holloway may end up behind bars for more than a decade, if convicted.

According to Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Maat, on May 8th Holloway put alcohol into some juice, and gave it to her 2-year-old great grandson while looking after him. The toddler apparently became sick and vomited. The child’s mother reported the incident to police, and took her son to the hospital for treatment.

After an investigation into the incident, police arrested Holloway. She is now being charged with a single count of third degree child abuse, which is a felony under Michigan law. In addition, however, Holloway is also being charged as a habitual offender, which increases the length of her sentence, should she be convicted. As of now Holloway is facing 15 years in prison.

Holloway’s criminal record includes a number of prior convictions. In 2005, she was convicted of Resisting and Obstructing Police, and Malicious Destruction of Police Property in 2005. In 2012 she was again convicted, this time for Malicious Destruction of Private Property between $1,000 and $20,000. Holloways record also contains numerous other felony convictions for Resisting and opposing, Malicious Destruction of Property and First Degree Retail Fraud, and a single misdemeanor conviction for Aggravated Domestic Violence.

History is rife with examples of alcohol and drug use being acceptable for babies

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when fussy babies were soothed with a dash of whiskey in their bottles. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Bayer, the current purveyor of aspirin, sold Heroin in the form of cough syrup. Opium was offered over the counter for teething babies, with a dosing chart that started with five day old infants.

While this may seem ludicrous to us nowadays, it was entirely normal less than one hundred years ago. So while we would never advocate for giving a child alcohol, or any form of illicit substance, it is important to take into account Holloway’s age when considering this situation. She is 65 years old, which means that she was raised by parents or caregivers who were themselves raised during an era when dosing children with alcohol and other questionable substances was the norm. Sometimes old habits die hard.

Despite our nation’s interesting pharmaceutical history and prior devotion to questionable over-the-counter drugs, however, a lot has changed in the last hundred years. We have gone from putting real cocaine in Coca-cola and heroin in cough drops, to advising pregnant women not to use Nyquil lest the trace quantities of alcohol negatively affect their fetus. The unquestioning use of highly addictive drugs has swung the other way, and now we are engaged in a protracted war-on-drugs that is losing ground with very year that passes.

Regardless of your opinion on the matter, the law is very clear about what is legal and what isn’t when it comes to drugs and how they may be used. So if you or a loved one have been singled out by CPS or the police for the way in which you have chosen to medicate your child, you are going to need experienced abuse and neglect defense attorneys on your side. So call us today. We can help you.

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