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Woman arrested after her daughter reports her driving recklessly [Updated]

February 5, 2010 |  3:52 pm

A Santa Barbara woman has been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs after her daughter called 911 to report that her mother was driving recklessly, CHP officials said Friday.

CHP officers arrested Kathryn Relis about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, about half an hour after a CHP dispatcher received a call from Sarita Relis, 31, from the Los Angeles area. Relis told officers her mother was driving southbound on the 101 Freeway in the Santa Barbara area with another daughter, age 11, in the car. [Updated, 1:19 p.m. Sunday: An earlier version of this post included the name of the child. The name was removed at the request of the family.]

The woman was “driving recklessly and was under the influence of medication she was taking for migraines,” the older daughter told law enforcement officers, according to a CHP report.

The 11-year-old, the only passenger in the minivan, was able to give her older sister details about her mother’s condition over a cellphone. The CHP was able to determine the location of the van based on information the girl gave to her older sister, officials said.

The girl "stated her mother was weaving all over the road and was traveling at speeds ranging from 70 to 90 mph,” according to a CHP report.

Another witness also called 911 and reported the vehicle being driven recklessly as it traveled south on the 101 Freeway, officials said. Kathryn Relis was eventually stopped by CHP officers on the southbound 101, near west Main Street.

Officers determined she was under the influence of drugs and arrested her, officials said. She was later booked into the Ventura County Jail, accused of driving under the influence of drugs and child endangerment.

According to information released by the CHP, Relis and her daughter were traveling from the Santa Barbara area to Los Angeles for a school field trip. After Relis was arrested, a CHP officer drove the girl back to the Santa Barbara area, where she was reunited with her father, officials said.

The incident remained under investigation Friday.

-- Ann M. Simmons

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