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Local News

Police: Drunk Joliet woman drives van filled with children

Stephanie M. Cockream, 36, Joliet
Stephanie M. Cockream, 36, Joliet

A Joliet woman drove a van filled with unrestrained children while drunk, police said.

About 2:45 p.m. Monday, Stephanie M. Cockream, 36, of the 200 block of Madison Street, Joliet, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, with a blood-alcohol content more than .08, and endangering the life and health of a child in connection with the incident.

Officers received a call about a woman, later identified as Cockream, allegedly causing a disturbance at a gas station in the 900 block of West Jefferson Street, Joliet Deputy Police Chief Ed Gregory said in an email.

The caller gave the officers the license plate number of Cockream’s van and a description of the vehicle.

Gregory said they initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and met with Cockream, who allegedly had a strong odor of alcohol coming from her. The officers also saw four children unsecured in the vehicle asleep. One child was on the floor between the second and back row seats, police said.

Gregory said the children were ages 8, 5, 3 and 2.

Cockream allegedly had visible signs of intoxication and impairment. The officers asked her to step out of the car to perform a field sobriety test, which she allegedly failed. The children were taken into protective custody, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services were called to investigate their health.

DCFS staff relinquished custody of the children to two family members who were contacted and arrived at the police station. Cockream’s vehicle was towed.

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