Father charged with drunk driving after taking kids to the movies

Updated:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A father is facing DUI charges after police say he got behind the wheel drunk with his young children in the truck. 

Joseph Howell is charged with DUI, Reckless Driving, two counts of DUI/Child Endangerment with children under 18, and Public Intoxication. 


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Officers said they responded to the 2200 block of Webbing Drive at Howell's home address after getting a call about a drunk driver in the area of Highway 64 and New Brunswick Road. 

A witness called MPD and told them he was following Howell from the movie theater and that Howell was intoxicated and had two young kids, ages 6 and 9, inside the truck. 

The witness followed Howell to his home. Officers said they found Howell standing next to his vehicle and could smell alcohol on him. 

They said Howell appeared confused when he was asked questions. Howell told officers he had been to the movies with his sons and had a beer. 

Witnesses told police Howell appeared drunk in the theater and followed him out after he got into an argument with employees. 

Witnesses said Howell was swerving, driving erratically, and they were worried for the safety of his children. 

Both children were released at the scene into the custody of their grandparents. 

inside the truck, police said they found two open cans of beer and an open 12-pack on the passenger seat. Howell failed a field sobriety test.