Day-care license of Atascadero woman accused of drunken driving is under investigation

The Atascadero day-care provider who allegedly was drunk when she crashed her SUV with four children inside is being investigated by state and local authorities.

Dana Cheri Amador, 42, is not licensed with California's Community Care Licensing Division, spokeswoman Jennifer Iida said on Wednesday. The division is the state’s oversight body for various types of day-care operations for both children and adults.

There is still the possibility that Amador obtained a license at the county level, Iida said. The existence of such a license, daycare business name or operating address hasn't been confirmed.

The Community Care Licensing Division is investigating Amador under an unlicensed provider complaint made this week that could take up to one month to conclude, Iida said.

“If we find she’s been operating without a license there could be different procedures of action against her,” she added.

Amador, an Atascadero resident, is also being evaluated by San Luis Obispo County's Child Welfare Services to determine if her own three children should remain in her care, officials said Wednesday.

Amador was arrested Monday on suspicion of driving under the influence and four counts of child endangerment, both felonies. She is now out of County Jail after posting $100,000 bail.

Of her four children passengers, police said, three belonged to clients. She was en route to an elementary school to pick up her two other children at the time of the crash.

The crash occurred at 3 p.m. Monday as Amador was driving a 2003 GMC Yukon to pick up her two children from school. She veered to the right and hit a parked car on the 3800 block of Monterey Road, then overcorrected, police said, and the Yukon veered down an embankment until the car halted on its side.

No major injuries were reported in the wreck.

Amador’s preliminary blood-alcohol content at the time of her arrest was approximately three times the legal limit for driving, police said.

County Child Welfare Services officials are now determining the extent of Amador's drinking history, officials said, and if any resources could aid in her keeping her own children.

“Our role is to see if this was a one-time thing or an ongoing issue,” County Director of Social Services Lee Collins said. Ensuring that children can be cared for safely with their own parents is preferred “because we believe the best place is with the parents, if that’s possible,” he added.

However, ensuring child safety remains the top priority, he added.

Child Welfare Services responded to the crash and took temporary custody of the children until their parents or other guardians arrived.

The Atascadero Police Department will submit its criminal investigation to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office this week, Cmdr. Steve Gesell said.