Wednesday Weisblog: A “BUI” for a woman with poor judgment?

When police recently responded to a domestic disturbance call at the Grand Forks, North Dakota home of 27-year-old Stacey Anvarinia, they got quite a surprise.

They entered the home, and shortly thereafter Anvarinia began breastfeeding her six-week-old infant in their presence. That by itself would be fine. But there was one problem … she was (allegedly) three sheets to the wind.

As a result, she was arrested for child neglect. Grand Forks County Assistant State Attorney Carmell Mattison said police asked her “several times” to stop breastfeeding because she was intoxicated, but she declined.

Police made the arrest because they believe it’s neglect in more than one way. In their view, because she was intoxicated, not only shouldn’t she have been feeding the baby, she wasn’t capable to take care of it in general.

There is a problem with their case, though … they did not do a blood alcohol test on Anvarinia. Mattison says the police noted in their report that she was “extremely intoxicated,” but often if you don’t have a blood test it becomes a difficult case to prove.

Anvarinia’s court-appointed attorney is David Ogren. He says he’s never heard of another case like this one. He went on to say the following: “This doesn’t strike me as a newsworthy case.”

Really, David? Seriously? You (allegedly) get wasted, then breastfeed your child? It’s not newsworthy when health experts say that alcohol consumed by breastfeeding mothers can be absorbed into an infant’s system?

I understand that Ogren has to defend his client to the best of his ability, but come on … don’t insult us – and don’t discount the well-being of a six-week-old infant that cannot defend itself.

By the way, if she’s convicted, Anvarinia faces as much as five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

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