Woman Charged With DUI With 4 Children in Car

A Rhode Island woman has been charged with driving under the influence with four children in her car, according to state police.

Phyllis Lee Coates, 21, of Providence, was arrested just after 1 a.m. Friday after troopers allegedly saw her driving a Mazda CX7 over the speed limit and failing to stop at multiple stop signs in South Providence.

When troopers managed to stop her vehicle, they noticed that the youngest three of the four children in the car - ages 2, 5, 7 and 11 - weren't properly secured in their child safety seats.

Coates was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, refusing to submit to a chemical test, disorderly conduct, threatening a public official and four counts each of cruelty to or neglect of children. She was also cited multiple times for speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign and seatbelt violations.

She allegedly told troopers that she was watching the children while their mother was working and that the car she was driving was owned by their mother.

State police say they were able to find the children's stepfather so they could turn them over to their family's custody. The state's child welfare agency was contacted about the incident.

It wasn't immediately clear if Coates had an attorney. She was due in court on Friday.

Contact Us