• Police: Woman drove drunk with beer next to her kids

    By: Tony Thomas


    GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A Gwinnett County mother is behind bars after allegedly driving drunk with an open case of beer stashed between her two small children.

    The Suwanee police department said Andrea Payne was stopped in a lane on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road Wednesday night blocking traffic.

    "When he got out of the car and started talking to her, he realized quickly she was under the influence of alcohol,." Said Police Captain Cass Mooney.

    An officer said when he pulled up, he noticed an opened case of Bud Light sitting in between a 6-year-old girl and a 3-year-old in the backseat.

    Police said Payne was combative and, in an incident report, an officer wrote "I asked her if she could present her insurance card. She began fumbling through her wallet and kept dropping the contents."

    Officers said they also found an open can of beer in the driver's side door panel and a bottle of Fireball whiskey on the floor.

    "I don't know if that had been opened or not," Mooney said.

    Suwanee police won't release the in-car video from the police cruiser until the case goes to trial, but said Payne at one point tried to get her 6-year-old daughter to run away.

    "While we were in the process of arresting the mother, she was combative with the officers and apparently turned and yelled for the child to run from the police officers. Luckily, the child didn't run out into traffic or anything," Mooney said.

    Payne remains in the Gwinnett County Detention Center. Police said her relatives were able to come to the scene and pick up the children.

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