The Louisiana State Police said troopers arrested a Hattiesburg man after he let his 8-year-old son drive on Interstate 12 near Holden. State police said they received a call shortly after 6:30 a.m. on Saturday about a green Chevrolet pickup truck driving erratically on the interstate in Livingston Parish. The caller told police that a child appeared to be the driver of the pickup.
Troopers located and stopped the vehicle, and they said a boy was driving the truck while his father, Billy Joe Madden, 28, slept in the passenger seat. Police said that Madden's 4-year-old daughter was riding in the backseat.
After interviewing Madden, troopers said they found out that he was intoxicated, and he fell asleep while his son drove from Hattiesburg to Dallas. State police said they arrested Madden and charged him with two counts of child desertion, parent allowing a minor to drive, open container and two counts of no child restraint and no seat belt.
According to troopers, the two children were not injured, and they were turned over to Child Protective Services waiting for a family member to pick them up. Madden was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail, and his bond was set at $1,474.