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Woman who allegedly drove drunk with child was a children’s social worker

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A Clayton woman charged Sunday with drunken driving while accompanied by a child was until recently a caseworker in the child protective services unit of the Jefferson County Department of Social Services, Commissioner Laura C. Cerow confirmed Wednesday.

“The job duties” of Aimee L. Cooley, 41, of 15739 County Route 3, “had already been restricted” before Ms. Cooley’s arrest by state police Sunday afternoon on Interstate 81 in the town of Sandy Creek, Mrs. Cerow said.

Police said Ms. Cooley had a blood alcohol content of 0.25 percent, resulting in a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated. A BAC of 0.18 percent is the threshold for aggravated DWI under state law; the threshold for DWI is 0.08 percent. Because she had an 11-year-old boy riding with her, she also was charged with felony aggravated DWI under Leandra’s Law.

Ms. Cooley was driving from a hockey tournament about 1 p.m. Sunday when, while driving north, she was halted for speeding at 80 mph in a 65-mph zone, police said. The child riding with her was not her 11-year-old son, but a friend of her son whom she was taking home, police said.

Mrs. Cerow said Ms. Cooley has been a child protective unit caseworker with the Department of Social Services since 1997. She did not specify when or why Ms. Cooley’s responsibilities had been restricted.

Ms. Cooley had not been suspended from her job as of Wednesday, according to Mrs. Cerow, who added that Ms. Cooley had not been in the office since the incident, “and we don’t expect her to be in for some time.”

She is not yet under suspension, Mrs. Cerow said.

“We have not filed and served any charges,” she said.

There will be administrative discussions about the issue, she said.

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