13-year-old arrested for driving SUV

Columbus police arrested a 13-year-old female driver and two passengers after receiving a report about an intoxicated driver.

At about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday, Sgt. Jennifer VanVactor saw a white Chevrolet Blazer traveling south on Taylor Road near County Road 300N strike a curb as it turned into the entrance to a subdivision, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

When VanVactor approached the SUV, she noted the driver, later identified as the 13-year-old, had switched seats with the front seat passenger, Harris said.

When she spoke with the person in the driver’s seat, identified as a 17-year-old juvenile, she smelled a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, Harris said.

The 17-year-old juvenile later provided a breath sample of .088 percent and was arrested, Harris said.

A back seat passenger, Joseph R. Chasteen, 18, Taylorsville, provided a breath sample of .017 percent and was also arrested on a preliminary charge of illegal consumption of alcohol, Harris said.

The 13-year-old girl passed a portable breath alcohol test but was taken into custody for operating a vehicle without a license, Harris said. There were two other passengers, both juveniles, who were released to their parents.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.