Drunk Driver Knocks Down “Report Drunk Drivers” Sign.

A California drunk driver crashes into signNo, it’s not ironic. If you look up the dictionary definition of ironic, you’ll see that what happened in Buena Vista, California had nothing to do with irony. It had everything to do with probabilities: the chances that someone who drinks and drives will eventually hit something, or someone. Those chances, by the way, are high.

What happened was that a 57-year-old man was driving under the influence on Highway 1 when he slammed into a sign. The sign said “Report Drunk Drivers.”

The best thing about this story was that the man in question hit a sign, and not a pedestrian or another car. In the background you can see the driver’s Jeep Wrangler, which rolled over after making contact with the sign. The car would have to have been going at a decent speed to end up where it did.

Probabilities: just what are they? According to the New England Journal of Medicine, “The risk of a fatal crash increases rapidly as the blood alcohol concentration of a driver increases.” In a 1994 study in that journal,  researchers found

  • A driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .10 or higher is 7 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a sober driver.
  • A driver with a BAC of .15 (about twice the legal limit) is about 25 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

It’s the kind of statistic that takes the humor out of a situation.

The state of California put up the “Report Drunk Drivers” sign to encourage citizens not to be bystanders. Often drivers wonder whether they should report a drunk driver – whether it’s “any of their business.” The statistics prove that it’s very much their business.

So if you see a drunk driver, make the call.  The number’s right there on the sign. Oh wait….