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Pot-Smoking Mom Drove with Baby on Top of Car

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on June 05, 2012 6:02 AM

Call it "Dude, Where's My Car Seat?" A pot-smoking teen mom in Arizona faces criminal charges after she strapped her infant son into a child safety seat -- which she placed on the roof of her car and then absent-mindedly drove away.

The car seat fell off the roof and landed in a nearby intersection, Phoenix police told Reuters. The mom, 19-year-old Catalina Clouser, apparently didn't notice.

Witnesses called police, and soon the young mother returned to claim her 5-week-old child, who was not hurt. It was apparently Clouser's second run-in with the cops that same night.

A few hours earlier, Catalina Clouser had been smoking marijuana at a park with her boyfriend and others, according to ABC News. When Clouser and her boyfriend drove to a store to buy beer, her boyfriend got pulled over for DUI. Clouser's infant son was also in the car, police said.

Apparently angry about her boyfriend's arrest, Clouser went to a friend's house and tried to bury her sorrows by smoking more marijuana.

Then around midnight, Clouser left her friend's house and placed her baby in the car seat on top of her car. She drove off, forgetting the baby was there, and kept going even after the baby's car seat fell off, police said.

The 5-week-old infant was taken to a hospital as a precaution. He's now in protective custody.

Both Catalina Clouser and her boyfriend are facing aggravated DUI charges. In both cases, it's not clear if the DUI was for alcohol intoxication or driving while stoned.

In Arizona, a DUI can become "aggravated" if a person allegedly drives drunk with a child under 15 years old in (or on the roof of) their car, which Clouser and her beau allegedly did.

Catalina Clouser also faces child abuse charges for placing her baby in a car seat on the roof of her car. Depending on how serious the abuse charge is, Clouser could possibly face prison time if convicted.

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