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Police: Woman faces child abuse charges after DUI crash with 11-month-old in the car

A 26-year-old St. Petersburg woman is facing a child abuse charge for allegedly crashing her car while drunk with an 11-month-old baby in the vehicle, Pinellas Park police said Friday.

Stephanie Brethen allegedly drove into the back end of a Ford Mustang, severely damaging the front of her Ford Focus, about 4 p.m. Thursday in the 4900 block of 62nd Avenue N, according to police.

The driver of the Mustang told officers she was traveling east and slowing down for traffic when Brethen hit her from behind. Both that driver and Brethen were taken to the hospital with injuries that weren't believed to be life threatening, police said. The baby was unharmed and released to family members, according to authorities.

Police said Brethen appeared intoxicated and under the influence of controlled substances. Officers allegedly found a large amount of Xanax in her car, though she did not have a prescription. Brethen's license had reportedly already been suspended for failure to complete substance abuse counseling after a previous DUI charge.

In addition to the child abuse charge, she faces counts of DUI, possession of a controlled substance, and driving with a revoked or suspended license.

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