WSP Sergeant’s Patrol Car Was Hit by a Drunk Driver

For law enforcement–there may be many nights that seem a little surreal or like a scene right out of a movie. Last night could probably be described that way for Washington State Patrol Sergeant Keith Leary. He was assisting with the arrest of a suspected DUI driver when his patrol car was hit by another suspected DUI driver.

The incident occurred about 10pm Thursday night in Everett as Sergeant Leary was parked on the right shoulder of Rucker Avenue and 40th Street with his blue lights flashing. A female in her early 20’s, driving a 2005 Honda, swerved toward the shoulder and smashed his back taillight with her passenger side mirror.

The woman didn’t stop, but kept driving north on Rucker Avenue, all the while still swerving in the lane. Another trooper pursued her, and she eventually stopped 5 blocks north of the scene. Her blood-alcohol level was found to be nearly 3 times the legal limit of .08 percent. She was arrested for investigation of DUI and hit-and-run.

“Luckily this was just a mirror to the back of the taillight hit, and no one was injured. But a couple more inches and it could have been a different story, and we don’t want to see that happen,” Leary said.

Troopers say that although this may be a dramatic example of DUI, it’s a very real indication of how many drunken drivers are on the roads, necessitating extra patrols out looking for impaired drivers this time of year.  Sergeant Leary said that within the first 90 minutes of their overnight patrols they had two DUI-related wrecks and 10 DUI arrests—just another indication of the magnitude of the problem, this holiday season.

Holiday Season in Full Swing

‘Tis the Season for festive parties and jolly laughter as merry-makers wish themselves and others holiday cheer. Yet as the holiday parties draw to an end, many aren’t legally fit or sober enough to take the keys, and unfortunately, still get behind the wheel.

Some holiday predictions are, tragically, very predictable. For example, statistics show that people are 2-3 times more likely to die in an alcohol-related crash during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays than during comparable periods the rest of the year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). And 40 percent of traffic fatalities during these holidays involve a driver who is alcohol-impaired, compared to 28 percent for the rest of December. So while the festivities are filled with holiday greetings and gay happy meetings-there’s no doubt that being on the road can be a lot riskier this time of year! Bah-humbug!

“December is a busy time on our nation’s roads and we want people to travel safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “We’re urging everyone to drive sober and plan a safe ride home before drinking at holiday celebrations and gatherings.”  The NHTSA is asking everyone to spread the message of a national safety campaign: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Law enforcement will be busy doing their job to monitor and patrol the roads and highways so that everyone can safely enjoy the festivities during their commutes. It’s the least we can do, right?

Don’t WRECK the Holidays by Drunk Driving

Every American can do their part to help reduce the fatal toll of drunk driving by always planning for a designated driver or a safe ride home. But here’s something to think about– If no one drove drunk–no one would die in a drunk driving accident. It’s really that simple.  If you’ve had too much to drink or if you are otherwise impaired, do NOT get behind the wheel.  There are always resources and other ways to get you and your friends home without having to drive yourself. The NHTSA has a great app called SaferRide that can be downloaded onto your cell phone before you even arrive at a holiday party. It’s available for Android and Apple devices. UBER is another great option to ensure that you’re never behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

Scary facts:  The average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before their first arrest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means a lot of lives have been put at risk and in danger due to their negligence. Don’t be that kind of holiday merry-maker!

Don’t let the temptation to drink and drive spoil your holidays. Even a small buzz is considered impairment and if you are involved in a collision which was not your fault but the law enforcement officer suspects that you have been drinking, he will work on the presumption that you were contributory to the crash. That means you could be charged with a DUI and the insurance company will not contribute a single dime toward repairs or damages. Nothing good comes from drinking and driving at any time, but especially during this season of love and goodwill toward others.

Our Auto Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help

The holidays are the perfect time to remind friends and family that “Safety is NO Accident.”  Especially when it comes to drunk driving. Let Safety be the Gift we give everyone by getting a ride home after the holiday parties. It truly will be the gift that keeps on giving–because YOU will be here to enjoy more holidays and sweet memories with friends and family in the years to come.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a auto accident caused by a drunk driver, call Fielding Law Group for are free consultation today. We are on YOUR side. Our experienced legal team will work hard to get the compensation you deserve while you recover. Remember–Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!