GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- A father is behind bars accused of letting his toddler of get drunk while he was sleeping off his own intoxication.

According to police, the 3-year-old boy was under the care of his father on May 7 when authorities got a call from a family member.

Police say the family member owns the house and lives there with the father, mother and child. The father and child were there by themselves Saturday at about 7:00 p.m. when the family member came home and found the father, 20-year-old Marcus Daniel Allen, unresponsive in his bedroom and the toddler acting abnormally and smelling of alcohol. Allen himself is also under the legal drinking age.

Police say Allen had drunk himself into unconsciousness on a fruity, mixed alcoholic cocktail that was in a water bottle with a straw. When police got to the house, they realized the child had been sipping the cocktail while the father was passed out.

Authorities transported both the father and boy to the hospital where they discovered that the boy's blood alcohol content was close to two times the legal driving limit for an adult -- one more sip could have killed him.

"I think it could have been a lot worse had they not come home when they did," said Gainesville Police Deputy Chief Jay Parrish. "Had the child ingested more alcohol, it could have been fatal."

Police say when officers approached Allen, he tried to escape into the hospital's parking lot.

Authorities arrested Allen and charged him with a felony count of cruelty to children along with additionial counts of reckless conduct, obstruction and underage consumption of alcohol.

Police tell 11Alive that the toddler is doing OK, and that the Georgia Division of Family and Child Services has placed the child in his mother's care.

"I think it just goes to show that to parent and raise a child, we have to be highly vigilant at all times, and have to put the children first and our behavior second, for their well being,” Parrish said.

Allen is being held in Hall County Jail, with no bond set on the child cruelty charge.

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