Police Say Kids "Please Help Us" Sign in Car Leads To Drunk Mom

February 24, 2011 Updated Feb 24, 2011 at 7:51 PM EDT

By Laura Gray

February 24, 2011 Updated Feb 24, 2011 at 7:51 PM EDT

North Tonawanda, NY (WKBW) -- Police say Bonnie Will was driving drunk to the grocery store with three children in the car on a busy road Tuesday morning. North Tonawanda Police Chief Randy Szukala says Will was so intoxicated she couldn't walk or communicate when police found her.
"My daughters not a bad person don't know what happened yet." her father Walter Will tells us.
But police in North Tonawanda say this is what happened. A concerned driver found Bonnie Will in her car Tuesday morning, stopped in the northbound traffic lane of River Road.
"He was probably more thinking she needed to call a tow truck. At 9am that's what you're expecting." Chief Szukala says. "Your'e not really expecting to find someone intoxicated at 9am."
Police say Will had been driving her own child and two of her neighbor's kids -- all between 8 and 12 years old when she passed out. The kids tried to reach out by holding up a sign in the car's window. "It was like an 81/2 by 11 computer sheet of paper in orange marker or crayon that said please help us."
When officers arrived, they allegedly found Will incoherent and unable to walk on her own. "She gave a claim of having a medical problem and we treated it as such." Szukala tells us, adding "with skepticism because you could still smell the alcohol from her."
Will has been in trouble with the law before. She was convicted of a DWI in 2004.
"She had a previous DWI conviction, has she had problems with alcohol?" We asked her father. "Not that I know of, but I can't say anything about that really." Walter Will would not comment because of his daughter's legal battle. "She's doing good. She regrets it. That's all I can say, really."
Will refused a blood test, but was charged with a felony DWI based on officer's observations and her previous conviction. She was also charged with Leandra's Law for driving drunk with children in the car. In addition, Will faces three child endangerment charges.