Follow-up: A new DUI record set in the state of Washington


A year ago, I noted that a new DUI record had been set for the state of Washington. It took a while, but the story finally settled out.

Recapping the story so far (links in the original article): The driver's attorneys eventually succeeded in having her released from jail (where she had been held on $300,000 bail) to a treatment center.

In April 2008, the driver pled guilty to driving while intoxicated and in June 2008 was sentenced to one year in prison for that offense, plus additional days for other offenses, totalling 440 days in jail; plus 90 days of electronic home monitoring, fines, attendance at alcohol-education classes, and other unspecified penalties. That last article also runs down the four separate traffic incidents the driver has been involved in: Driving on the shoulder past a line of stopped cars and becoming involved in a three-car collision, the incident which raised so much public attention. A hit-and-run accident. And two more incidents of driving while intoxicated.

Unfortunately, permanent suspension of driving privileges was not listed among the penalties.

Other high blood alcohol levels:

Comments (9)
  1. Spizzbot says:

    At some point you really have to suspect the meter reading.  I mean, the guy in Bulgaria would literally have to have almost 1% of his blood volume be ethanol.

  2. cc says:

    @Spizzbot: well, the story [1] says the police who took him in did indeed suspect their meters were broken; they tested him five times before taking him to a hospital, where the doctors confirmed it.

    So, believe it or believe it not, it does seem like the authorities were properly incredulous.

    [1] The given link doesn’t work for me, so try <http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2005/01/04/drunk-bulgarian-050104.html&gt;

  3. Erzengel says:

    cc: Sorry to be nitpicky, but it only says the police "thought their equipment was broken" but "five separate lab tests taken the same day confirmed the man’s blood-alcohol level of 0.914"

    In other words, the police gave him the breathalizer an undefined number of times, it’s the hospital that tried five times before finally concluding that he was somehow able to not only survive but remain conscious and lucid at twice the lethal limit. Again, I apologize for nitpicking.

    What I do find interesting on that is that he wasn’t DUI. He was a pedestrian that was hit by a car. Don’t drink and walk now? (Or how about the much simpler approach: Don’t drink.)

  4. Rob says:

    @Erzengel:  or, don’t drink enough to kill a horse.

  5. Mark says:

    These type of accidents are getting very common

    day by day Driving while intoxicated is not at all safe for the people. I don’t know why people drive when they know that it’s a serious crime.

  6. Stephen says:

    @Mark: Because they’re <i>drunk</i>, perhaps?  Alcohol is known to lower inhibitions, including ones that normally inhibit us from committing crimes like DUI.

  7. Aaargh! says:

    > "I don’t know why people drive when they know that it’s a serious crime."

    That’s not the correct reason not to drink and drive. You shouldn’t drink and drive because it’s stupid and you endanger other people.

    > "Because they’re <i>drunk</i>, perhaps? "

    I don’t think that’s the usual reason. Most of the time people who are driving while drunk are on the way home from e.g. a bar. This implies that they actually *planned* to drive drunk. (You know you need to get back home, you know you’re going to drink in the bar. You still choose to drive there instead of e.g. taking a bicycle).

  8. Erzengel says:

    @Aaargh!:

    In light of that statement, I would bet it’s the "It won’t happen to me" syndrome. "/Other/ people get arrested for DUI. /Other/ people crash. /Other/ people die. Not me. Bad things like that don’t happen to me." By the time they find out the truth, they’re serving time in a prison, hospital, or mortuary and it’s a bit too late.

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