Police: DUI suspect crashed car with 3-year-old aboard

Grandmother has 5 previous convictions; prosecutor says she's a 'menace to the community'

A Grand Junction woman is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and causing a single-vehicle accident while her 3-year-old grandchild was in the vehicle, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

Shannon Lee Heit, 45, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and crimes against an at-risk person, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor counts of careless driving causing bodily injury, driving with a revoked license, child abuse, domestic violence and third-degree assault.

Heit, who has five previous convictions for driving while intoxicated, appeared Wednesday before Mesa County Court Judge Michael Grattan.

Assistant District Attorney Rich Tuttle requested a cash-only bond in Heit’s case, describing the allegations of driving with a child while intoxicated as “extremely aggravated.”

“We think Ms. Heit is a menace to the community,” Tuttle said.

Grattan ordered a $2,000 personal-recognizance bond in the case, and required that Heit submit to daily breathalyzer tests.

According to an arrest report, a Colorado State Patrol trooper responded to a motor vehicle crash in the 1300 block of 21 Road at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Heit allegedly told the trooper that she did not know who was driving the vehicle, but later wrote in a statement that she looked away from the road and over-corrected. According to the affidavit, the trooper reported smelling alcohol on Heit’s breath, and Heit allegedly admitted to drinking a beer an hour before driving the vehicle.

According to witnesses, Heit attempted to convince a male victim at the scene to tell police that he was the one driving the vehicle when it crashed. When the victim would not comply, Heit allegedly began striking his head with her fists.

Heit was transported to Community Hospital for treatment and then arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

She is set to return to court on April 28.


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