There is no question that drunk driving has led to the injuries and deaths of thousands of innocent victims - so, too, has texting and other distracted driving practices. Unfortunately, sometimes both alcohol and texting jointly lead to severe accidents. This dangerous combination was illustrated recently when Massachusetts law enforcement responded to an accident allegedly caused by a texting drunk driver. Apparently with senses and reflexes dulled, the distraction of texting drew the driver's last bits of attention away from the road leaving an innocent woman injured.
On Monday, March 12, 2012, police arrived on scene and discovered a red Subaru Legacy with a damaged driver's side. Additionally, white paint had been smeared along the side and the side mirror had been torn off. The female driver was injured from being hit by the side mirror that flew through her open window.
Witnesses reported seeing a small white car drifting in and out of its lane. Upon closer inspection, the driver's head was down. Witnesses saw the white car hit the red Subaru and then leave the accident scene. Police put out a call with a description of the car, and about 30 minutes later, a car matching the description was found. It even had body damage, a flat front tire, a missing mirror and transferred red paint. But no driver was present.
An hour later, police found the driver of the white car walking along the road - a 40-year-old man from Bellingham - who reportedly smelled of alcohol, had slurred and slow speech and watery, bloodshot eyes. According to police, he failed a field sobriety test and a portable breath alcohol test showed 0.20 - close to three times the legal driving limit in Massachusetts. At the station, two more breath tests were taken resulting in measurements of 0.210 and 0.215.
The driver admitted to drinking with his girlfriend prior to driving and texting her while driving. He was booked under charges of drunken driving, reckless driving, leaving scene of an accident with personal injury, failing to drive in the right lane and texting while driving.
If anything, this accident shows just how dangerous both texting and drunk driving can be when done in combination.
Source: Worcester Telegram "Police say hit-and-run driver was drunk and texting girlfriend," Susan Spencer, March 15, 2012