PALM DESERT – A 27-year-old Palm Springs woman was booked into the Riverside County Jail in Indio Sunday, Aug. 11 for driving under the influence of alcohol and child endangerment, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

At 10:20 p.m. on Aug. 11, deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Palm Desert Station responded to a reported traffic collision in the 36700 block of Monterey Ave. in Rancho Mirage. Deputies determined a black Jeep SUV traveling southbound on Monterey Avenue veered off the roadway and collided with a traffic signal at the location.

child endangerment

Alexa Ruiz

The driver of the Jeep, Alexa Ruiz, of Palm Springs, was determined to have been operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol with a child in the vehicle.

She was scheduled to be released Monday, Aug. 12, according to the Jail Information Management System. She is scheduled to appear in court at the Larson Justice Center on Oct. 7.

Drivers caught driving impaired and charged with DUI can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to be upwards of $13,500. This includes fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses not to mention possible jail time.

Penal Code 273a is California’s criminal “child endangerment” law. It punishes someone who willfully exposes a child to pain, suffering, or danger. Under Penal Code 273a, it is the possibility of serious danger that is being punished.

If there was a risk of death or great bodily harm, child endangerment becomes a California “wobbler” offense. A “wobbler” may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, in the prosecutor’s discretion.

If charged as a felony, child endangerment can include punishment of:

  • Two (2), four (4), or six (6) years in California state prison, and/or
  • A fine of up to $10,000.

The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact, Deputy Daniel Stratton from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 760-836-1600, or Crime Stoppers at 760-341-STOP (7867). Riverside County Sheriff’s Department urges all drivers not to drink and drive.


Image Sources

  • Alexa Ruiz: RSO
  • Police Sirens: Pixaby