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Day care owner accused of operating drunk

MOORHEAD, Minn. -- Clay County prosecutors have charged a day care owner here with endangering children at her home after allegedly taking care of them while she was drunk.

According to court documents filed Thursday in Clay County District Court against Jayne Ann Cote, 54, of Moorhead, officers were dispatched Oct. 2 to a home on a report to a day care licensing agent that Cote was drunk while caring for children at the day care she runs out of her home.

Court documents state that when officers arrived, Cote was unsteady on her feet and didn't have her pants on correctly, and that there was cereal all over the floor.

Cote told officers she had taken a hydrocodone pill left over from a recent surgery. Officers administered a breath test, and found that Cote had a blood-alcohol content of 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit to drive.

Court documents state that officers interviewed parents who reported witnessing similar incidents.

One parent said Cote had lost her balance while recently trying to place his infant child on a changing table.

Cote told him she had taken a Benadryl and did not realize it would hit her so hard. She assured him she had not been drinking, the witness said.

Cote's husband told police his wife had a drinking problem but usually drinks only in the evening hours.

Cote was charged Thursday with four counts of gross misdemeanor neglect or endangerment of a child. Each count carries with it a potential maximum sentence of one year in jail.

Attempts to reach Cote at her home were unsuccessful. A phone number listed as being hers was disconnected.