Local News

Apr 29, 2010 12:20 AM by Danielle Lerner

Atascadero daycare provider who crashed her SUV while driving drunk was not licensed

Out of jail but still in a lot of trouble.

Police say the Atascadero daycare operator who crashed her SUV with kids inside had a blood alcohol level of more than three times the legal limit.

The State Department of Social Services says Dana Amador did not have a license to operate that daycare but they are investigating whether or not she needed one.

Police say preliminary tests show the 42 year old had a blood alcohol content of .25 when she crashed on Monterey Road in Atascadero Monday.

Investigators say three of the four children inside the SUV belonged to her clients.

Only minor injuries were reported.

"I think when she hit the back of my truck, I think her tire went sideways and came loose, then she grazed the power pole there with her car," said Danny Ehinger.

Ehinger recalls the moment 42-year-old Dana Amador crashed into his truck and then rolled her SUV.

He then helped pull the children inside to safety, and officers say the 2-to 4 -year-olds were not restrained in car seats.

"Once everything's over you think about what could have happened and very thankful," said Ehinger. "If I would have gone over there and someone was hurt it would be a different story."

KSBY News tried to get Amador's side of the story but she had just one thing to say.

"You can't film me," Amador said.

Amador's daycare operation is now at the center of a state investigation.

The California Department of Social Services says she was not a licensed provider and it is trying to determine if she needed one.

Under state law you do not need a license to care for related children, or kids from on other family, along with your own.

Still, San Luis Obispo County's Department of Social Services says a licensed provider can be a safer bet.

"Obviously licensed daycare doesn't catch everything, but it does indicate that at least the home has been examined, a criminal background has been done," said Lee Collins, the director of San Luis Obispo County's Department of Social Services.

If it turns out Amador should have been licensed she will receive a violation notice, which usually comes with a fine of $200 per day.

However, until the investigation is complete the state cannot stop her from caring for kids.

The criminal investigation also continues.

Amador has been charged with felony DUI and four counts of felony child endangerment.

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