Another Intoxication Allegation So Rescind Alcohol Treatment Option??

Stacey Anvarinia, the North Dakota women who pled guilty to child neglect for allegedly breastfeeding her infant daughter while intoxicated, has been arrested again.  According to the Grand Forks Herald, within hours of Anvarinia’s sentencing to 18 months imprisonment, all but six months suspended and with an option to serve part of the six months in substance abuse treatment, she was arrested for slashing the tires on a truck parked in the lot of her apartment building.  No word on to whom the truck belonged but I do wonder whether perhaps it was to Delbert Harrison, the man Anvarinia said had beaten her when she called the police for help the night of her arrest for child neglect.  Regardless, the police found her “hiding in a closet and appearing intoxicated.” (Yes, once again it appears police did not feel it necessary to do a blood alcohol test.) She also had cuts on wrists severe enough for police to bring her to the hospital before bringing her to jail.  Well, she got a hospital visit this time rather than the “go directly to jail” card dealt by police after she was kneed in the head last February.

Let’s review:

-Woman calls police for help because she is being beaten by her boyfriend as she tries to leave her apartment.

-Police arrive, describe her as “extremely intoxicated” but do not question her ability to care for her six week old daughter until she “began breastfeeding her infant in front of us.”

-Woman is never given a blood alcohol test.

-Woman is charged with felony child neglect and the man she identifies as having beaten her is never arrested or charged.  In fact, the state lists him as a witness in the case against her.

-Woman loses custody of her child for six months, is then sentenced to a minimum of another six months away from her child, leaves the courthouse after sentencing and slashes someone’s tires as well as, possibly, her own wrists.

A North Forks Herald article concerning Anvarinia’s sentencing hearing last week reported that the officer on the scene in February testified:

Anvarinia’s demeanor, a strong smell of alcohol on her and the alcohol containers throughout the apartment suggested to him that she was intoxicated.


he saw Anvarinia shake the baby girl, hold her without supporting her head and, at one point, hold her upside down by one leg

However, none of this is in the original incident report by the same officer.  If a six week old infant were being held upside down by one leg and shaken, would you wait until the mother put the child to the breast to arrest her for child neglect?  Would the breastfeeding and nothing else be in the arrest report?

If we are to assume that Anvarinia indeed has an alcohol problem, it was some solace that, though she lost custody of her daughter for at least a year and her abuser walked away with no charges, her sentence included substance abuse treatment.  Well, not anymore. In today’s report:

Stacey Anvarinia, 26, had been allowed to spend at least part of her sentence at a substance abuse treatment facility, but Judge Sonja Clapp of the State District Court rescinded that option today.

The judge has sent a battered mother who allegedly has an alcohol problem straight to jail and, as punishment for allegedly getting drunk again, won’t let her go to alcohol treatment.

Mothers can learn a lot of very disturbing lessons from the Anvarinia case. If you are being beaten while trying to escape an abusive boyfriend, calling the police may result in losing custody of your child. And your abuser won’t be charged with any crime. If you plead guilty to charges for which the state appears to have very little evidence in exchange for a lighter sentence and substance abuse treatment, you better not abuse substances before you get treatment because the judge will change your sentence to deny you the treatment you need. So the punishment for being abused is losing your child and the punishment for being an alcoholic is not getting alcohol treatment. Please, someone tell me who this protects?