Charges against day care provider include DUI, second offense

WICHITA — A Wichita day care owner was officially charged today in an incident Friday in which police said she drove seven children while she was drunk.

Margaret E. Walker, 49, of Derby was charged with driving under the influence _ second offense, DUI with children under 14, no driver's license, driving on a suspended license and not having a child under 4 in a child restraint, City Attorney Gary Rebenstorf said.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment suspended on Friday the license of Walker's day care, Creative Connections Learning Center, 11818 W. Central.

Walker pleaded guilty to a DUI on April 20 in Butler County Court, according to court records. She used a name she had used before a 2003 marriage, Margaret Self, court records show.

Walker was sentenced to probation in the DUI offense, which happened on Feb. 12, records state.

In the pending DUI case, police started searching for Walker on Friday morning, when day care staff called because she came to the center "smelling strongly of alcohol," the suspension notice states. Walker left before police arrived.

Employees called the police back when Walker showed up again, this time taking seven children with her in the company vehicle for a field trip, according to the suspension order. She was arrested when she pulled into the center's parking lot, according to the police report.

The day care center's closing leaves nearly 50 children's families searching for alternative child care and about five staff members out of a job, according to local child care services.

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