Yet Another Drunk Driver Tries to Swim to Freedom.

Drunk driver tries to swim to freedom
From the New York Public Library

There are trends that change the way people drink, and trends that change how police and courts will deal with a drunk driver from one year to the next.

But trends in drunk driving? Particularly, drunk drivers trying to escape the law?

You learn something every day. Not long ago a man in Québec attempted to evade arrest for DUI by jumping in a river. It didn’t work.

Now a man in Michigan tried to flee a drunk driving arrest by jumping in a lake.

Did we miss the memo?

Police were searching for a drunk driver after a call had come in. The officers spotted  Ted Arocha buying beer at the Gin Mill Party Store in White Lake. When they tried to apprehend him, he broke away and took off for Pontiac Lake. He jumped in and started swimming.

Amazingly, the police decided not to give up and go home. Instead, they hid out on the pontoon boat belonging to a couple of local citizens who sailed out to pick up the fugitive. When the men pulled Arocha out of the water, the police stood up and arrested him. The suspect made another attempt to reunite with Pontiac Lake, but was kept from doing so.

We’re not sure what makes a fully-clothed swim in a cold body of water so enticing to drunk drivers. Certainly the water was available in both cases, but is that enough? If the arrest happened in Hawaii, would they have jumped in a volcano?

A better guess is that the diving expedition was the last in a line of bad decisions fueled by alcohol– the decision to drink too much, the decision to drive, and the decision to stop and get more beer.

What comes next will depends on Mr. Arocha’s record and the judge’s discretion. Fines, license points, and possibly an ignition interlock requirement are in the offing. Of those, the interlock will help prevent the driver’s bad decisions from getting this far again.

We hope this isn’t a trend, but if another suspect decides to flee a DUI via H2O, we’ll keep you posted.