Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"...only had two beers and a shot."

Bradley Erickson, who was allegedly driving drunk when he crashed into a parked car killing three people early Thursday, said he didn't see the car and had only two beers and a shot of liquor hours earlier while watching a baseball game.
This makes me so angry. The quote above is from the guy that killed three people on the Interstate last week. He was in Marshfield for work, watched a baseball game, then left at 10 PM to drive back to Madison. Before he left, he had two beer and a shot of Jagger (or at least that's what he says.)

The crash happened at 2:35 AM, and his blood alcohol content at that time was 0.158, more than twice the legal limit. So, he's been driving for four hours, and his BAC is still twice the legal limit? What makes me think he either drank along the way, or was so smashed when he left that he's lucky he didn't go off the road within the first fifteen minutes?

Thinking that "only two beers and a shot" is nothing when leaving on a long, late night drive is bad enough, but I'm just not sure it's physically possible for his BAC to be that high after four hours if that is all he had.

Really, if you knew you weren't going to drive for 4 1/2 hours at night, not getting home until 2:30 AM, would you have a few drinks before leaving? How stupid and careless do you have to be to think that's OK? Or do we just assume that both alcohol and driving are rights, instead of responsibilities?

We have to do something about the idea that drinking and driving are an acceptable combination. Make a choice: either drink and don't drive, or drive, but don't drink. Maybe we need every car to have an ignition lockout as standard equipment. Certainly, we need to change the laws to make first time OWI a criminal offense, like every other state. And we all need to tell our friends, family, and work colleagues, "No" when they want another one, if they are going to drive home.

This has to stop. The price is too high to continue to cave to the Tavern League and the auto industry.

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