One For The Books: California Drunk Driver Backs Into Library

California drunk driver hits libraryIt’s a novel crime. A man suspected of driving drunk backed his VW sedan through the wall of the Downey City Library on Brookshire Avenue in Downey, California. He was booked for DUI and taken into custody.

The man had been arrested earlier on a non-DUI related traffic warrant. This crash, however, occurred after two in the morning. Because the library is down the street from the police station, officers were on the scene quickly.

It’s safe to say that the driver will regret his decision to drive drunk; the California drunk driver does not have an easy time of it. The state has the most drivers by far – some 25 million of them, ten million more than the next most road-happy state, Texas. With that many cars and drivers, managing drunk driving becomes a priority, which is why California was the first state to try out ignition interlocks back in 1986.

Other states grabbed the initiative away from California after that, mandating the interlocks – devices which prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking – for all drunk driving offenses. California finally passed an all-offender law, but it doesn’t take effect until 2019. Downey, however, is part of Los Angeles County, which has an all-offender pilot program in place. So it’s safe to say that the driver in question will be using a device soon, if he’s not already.

The reason that California has chosen ignition interlocks as an anti-drunk driving measure is apparent: it was just the wall of a library this time. But it could have been another car, or a family out for a walk. Drunk driving is a reckless crime that takes some ten thousand lives a year.

Drunk drivers are everywhere, backing into fire hydrants, parking meters, car bumpers, mailboxes – and libraries. When they do that, we sometimes have a laugh. When it’s people being harmed, the fun stops.