Around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, a Petaluma community service officer spotted a car parked in a red zone in front of Safeway in the Washington Square Shopping Center in Petaluma, police said.
When the officer tried to speak to the car's driver, the man fled the area.
Officers were called to the area and located the driver, identified as 45-year-old Thad Summary of Petaluma.
Police said the officers determined that Summary had been driving under the influence with two small children in the car.
The children, who were uninjured, were released to their mother.
Summary was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and child endangerment and taken to county jail where he was being held on $25,000 bail as of Saturday afternoon.