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Florida mother arrested on child neglect charges, accused of letting 12-year-old son drive

Francisca 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, according to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office.

This happened early Sunday, Oct. 13, 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 reported. The deputy conducted a traffic stop and discovered the driver was not only unlicensed but also underage — approximately 12 years old.

The mother was in the passenger seat, and there were two other juveniles seated in the back of the vehicle, according to sheriff’s officials.

The woman, identified as Francisca Saria, 43, was arrested charged with the following:

  • Permitting an unauthorized minor to drive
  • Child neglect
  • Expired registration
  • No proof of insurance

Bond was set at $23,000.

Jail records showed Saria, of Milton, Florida, was released on bond Sunday.

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