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Girl, 9, tells Mich. cop: "I was driving good"

generic police car
AFP/Getty Images
generic police car
AFP/Getty Images

(CBSAP) BROWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP, Michigan - How old is old enough to drive? 15?...16?...17?

How about 9?

Police say the 9-year-old daughter of a Detroit-area man drove him to the store because the dad had apparently been drinking.

Brownstown Township Detective Lt. Robert Grant said Monday the girl was sitting behind the wheel - in a child's booster seat - before 3 a.m. a week ago Saturday, when an officer opened the driver's side door of the full-sized panel van her father uses for work.

"Ironically enough, she asked the uniformed officer at the scene, 'Why did you stop me? I'm driving pretty good,'" said Grant, according to CBS affiliate WWJ. "So, the police officer then had to explain to her that she didn't have any right to be driving at 9 years old."

Someone had called police after spotting the pair stopped at a gas station. The caller watched the girl get in the driver's seat and pull the vehicle onto the road.

"She was genuinely surprised that the officer was stopping her because apparently the father had her convinced that she was able to operate a motor vehicle," Grant told WWJ.

The father, who was arrested, told police he was teaching his daughter how to drive. Charges against the man include felony child endangerment, but he could end up behind bars for almost 20 years because of his criminal history.

The girl, whose parents are divorced, is reportedly now with her mother.