Shocking footage has emerged of a Florida couple in a car who are believed to have passed out from a drugs overdose while two babies were still in the backseat.

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office have arrested William Ballard, 36, and 32-year-old Delenay Crissinger on suspicion of drug and child neglect allegations after they were seen unconscious at a Texaco gas station with a five-month-old and one-year-old also in the car.

CCTV footage shows them pulling into the station early in the early hours of 19 January and were still there around 8am local time when they were spotted by passers-by.

Police were called and officers searched the vehicle and found bags of methamphetamine, fentanyl and heroin inside. A loaded syringe was also found on the floorboard next to a container of baby formula.

Eric Roundtree, who works at a restaurant next door, told Fox 13 News: "We don't really see what addiction is about until we see something like that and that what saddens me most about it.

"You're an adult, you can do what you want to do but don't bring your kids involved. And those two little innocent kids didn't have nothing to do with this but now they're shaken up."

The children have since been taken into custody and the couple arrested.

In a statement, Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said: "Ballard is charged with child neglect, possession of heroin with intent to sell, possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, and driving with a suspended license. He is currently in custody on $30,120 (£23,940) bond.

"Crissinger also faces charges of child neglect, possession of methamphetamine and possession of narcotics equipment. During a first appearance hearing, the judge set her bond at $17,000."

The case echoes a similar incident last September in Ohio, in which police released disturbing images of two parents passed out from heroin while a four-year-old child was in the backseat.

Defending posting the images of James Lee Acord and Rhonda L Pasek onto Facebook, East Liverpool police chief John Lane said: "We are well aware that some may be offended by these images and for that we are truly sorry, but it is time that the non-drug-using public sees what we are now dealing with on a daily basis."

Opioid overdose
Photo shows two adults passed out on heroin in a car with a little boy in the backseat East Liverpool Police Department/Handout via REUTERS