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Indiana State Police Sergeant Tracy Spencer arrested a Vallonia man on Wednesday after allegedly finding him passed out behind the wheel and traveling with his infant child.  

Derek W. Ribelin, 34, of Vallonia was arrested and jailed at the Scott County Jail and was charged with the following: 

  1. Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Impairment with Passenger Less than 18 – Level 6 Felony.
  2. Neglect of a Dependent – Level 6 Felony
  3. OWI – Class C Misdemeanor
  4. Possession of a Handgun without a Permit – Class D Misdemeanor
  5. Possession of Marijuana – Level 6 Felony

Around 9:50 Wednesday evening, Sgt. Spencer was patrolling I-65 northbound near Scottsburg when he observed a vehicle stopped along the right side on the interstate with its flashers on.

Sgt. Spencer stopped to check, and upon approaching the driver’s side of the car, found the male driver either asleep or passed out behind the wheel.

The driver’s nine-month-old son was standing on his lap, crying and banging on the window. 

The child was taken by ambulance to Scott Memorial Hospital for observation and, in a short time, released to the biological mother. 

After several attempts, Sgt. Spencer was able to wake the driver, later identified as Ribelin.

Ribelin appeared to be intoxicated, and Sergeant Spencer also observed an open alcoholic beverage container sitting on the passenger’s seat.

Scottsburg City Police and Scott County Deputies arrived to assist, and Sgt. Spencer continued the investigation, which included Standard Field Sobriety Tests and a preliminary breath test with a result of .136 BAC.

Sgt. Spencer then transported Ribelin to Scott Memorial Hospital and obtained an official blood draw.

Officers who remained at the scene also located a loaded pistol in the driver’s side door pocket.