Our scum-of-the-Earth scale has a special slot near the top for parents who mistreat their children. We aren't interested in the psychology behind decisions like placing your nine-year-old daughter behind the wheel of your full-size van for a 3 a.m. run to the local convenience store. We just know the behavior is beyond unacceptable. That didn't stop one Detroit-area father from doing just that. The man was recorded bragging that he had been drinking and that his daughter had served as his designated driver for the trip to the store. He then said he was leaving and that his daughter would once again drive him home.

Surprisingly enough, no one at the convenience store bothered to try and stop the man.

Police later received a call from a concerned driver who spotted the youngster at the van's controls. An officer stopped the van, but the father refused a breathalyzer at the time. He has since been charged with second- and fourth-degree child abuse. The bottom line here is that what you do with your own life is your concern, but endangering a child with your own stupidity is the sort of act that deserves far worse than incarceration. Hit the jump to see an AP report on the incident.

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