Drunk Driver Barrels Through Set of DUI Awareness Promo Shoot. #Ironic

drunk driver weaves into film setThe stars aligned in a weird way on Wednesday, when some Oklahoma University Film Students gathered to shoot a drunk driving awareness video. Their shoot got interrupted.

By a drunk driver.

Ricky Reese, who had four previous DUIs, was seen approaching the film set on the Valley Brook street at a high speed, and he wasn’t slowing down.  In fact, a student had to jump out of the way to avoid becoming another tragic DUI statistic himself.

Reese was arrested and booked. His blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .17, or more than twice the legal limit.

As usual with amusing stories – and this one has a nice twist to it – the point is to see really matters. And there are a couple of things.

One is that it could have turned out differently. The car could have connected with the student, who had been engaged in the very worthwhile work of spreading the anti-drunk driving message.

Another is that the offender in question has multiple repeat offenses. Perhaps Oklahoma isn’t doing all it could do to keep drunk drivers like him off the road.

Compliance-Based Ignition Interlock Removal

Oklahoma has an ignition interlock program to help deal with multiple DUI offenders. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

However, the device is removed after the specified period, whether or not the offender has shown the ability to go without attempting to drink and drive. Some other states have compliance-based removal, by which an offender cannot have the device taken out until they pass a certain number of months – usually 4 – without a failed breath test. This helps ensure that the offender has taken steps to drive responsibly and deal with alcohol problems. The idea is that a person who can’t go 4 months without attempting to drink and drive should not have the interlock device removed.

Would compliance-based removal have prevented the near-disaster that occurred on Wednesday? We can’t say. But the measure is supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and is one of several that the organization recommends to reduce the toll that alcohol-related crashes take on the public.

As to the young filmmakers – we expect their video will have an extra dose of passion in it now that they’ve seen first-hand how scary drunk driving can be.