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Tampa babysitter charged with DUI, felony child neglect

TAMPA — A nurse hired to look after a 15-month-old child with serious medical needs was arrested Thursday morning, about 2 miles away, with a blood-alcohol level three times the level at which state law presumes someone is intoxicated, according to sheriff's deputies.

Brenda Sue Singer, 44, of Wood Sage Drive in Tampa was charged with driving under the influence and felony child neglect.

Her blood-alcohol level registered 0.314 and 0.307 when she was stopped at Interstate 75 and Morris Bridge Road, and she was charged with DUI, authorities said.

At 1 a.m. Thursday, deputies spotted Singer, pulled her over and arrested her, the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office reported.

The baby's parents told deputies later that they left the baby in Singer's care at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Then, at 3 a.m., they returned home to find the baby alone and called deputies.

Singer is a licensed practical nurse. State records show she received her Florida nursing license in December. Before that, she was a nurse in Ohio, where she started practicing in 1991, records show.

Eulinda Smith, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health, said that if Singer pleads guilty or is convicted, she will have to report it to state officials who will determine what, if any, discipline is in order. Until that time, Singer will be allowed to continue nursing, barring an emergency restriction being placed on her license.

Singer was released from the Orient Road Jail on Thursday on $2,500 bail. She could not be reached for comment. Thursday's arrest was her only one in Florida, according to state records.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Tampa babysitter charged with DUI, felony child neglect 03/19/09 [Last modified: Friday, March 20, 2009 12:10am]
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