OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — A Florida man was charged with child neglect after deputies said he asked a nine-year-old to drive him home nearly seven miles, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said a witness saw the car entering Oak Hill Road from a neighborhood around 8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 10 and “suspected the driver was impaired due to the vehicle being all over the roadway.”

The witness cut off the car near the intersection of Highway 85 and Old Bethel Road and saw a child sitting behind the wheel. The witness told the child to get in the passenger seat before they pulled the car into a Tom Thumb parking lot.

The nine-year-old told deputies Berrios asked him to drive him home.

The child was on his way back “to his own residence alone,” and had traveled almost three miles before the witness intervened.

The nine-year-old identified Berriors by picture and described Berrios’ appearance and name.

Berrios was at his house when he was interviewed by deputies. According to an arrest report, Berrios initially said he did not know the child or the child’s mother and denied leaving his house at all the previous night.

Berrios’ father gave deputies video of Berrios arriving home at around 7:43 a.m. at the back door. Video surveillance footage showed Berrios “walking up the road and driveway to the residence at around 7:42 a.m.”

Berrios was asked about the discrepancies in his story and responded with “I don’t know,” the arrest report added.

Berrios later told deputies he made a “mistake” but would not elaborate further. Berrios answered “I wouldn’t know” when he was asked why he did not wake up the child’s mother to drive him home.

The child’s mother told deputies she did not know the boy had left the house until deputies showed up. The mother said Berrios was at her house drinking alcohol the previous night. The mother said Berrios stayed the night and at “some point in the morning realized he was gone.”

According to the arrest report, the route from Opportunity Drive to Plum Orchard Road is approximately 6.8 miles. The child drove the car alone for nearly 2.8 miles.

“The defendant was responsible for the victim’s welfare,” the report said. “The defendant failed to provide adequate care and supervision.”

The arrest report said Berrios should have known the child was less than 18 years old and Berrios failed to make a reasonable effort to protect the victim [child] from neglect.

“We want to express our sincere gratitude to the witness who noticed something was wrong and intervened, potentially preventing a tragedy involving a child,” said Sheriff Aden.

Berrios was charged with one count of child neglect without great bodily harm.