Drunk Driver Drives Through House, Remodels Kitchen

Let’s have the moral of this story right up front: you are not safe from drunk drivers. Not on the road, not on a crosswalk, not even sitting quietly at home in your house, catching up on Game of Thrones or heating up a burrito in the microwave.Drunk driver drives through kitchen

Recently a McMinnville, Oregon drunk driver proved this point dramatically. Mario Gomez-Martinez was traveling at a high rate of speed when he failed to make a right turn on Southwest Hill Road. He continued straight and plowed right through:

  • Shrubs
  • Small trees
  • A wood fence
  • The backyard
  • The house’s back wall
  • Several interior walls
  • The kitchen, including the refrigerator and cabinets
  • The house’s front wall
  • The front yard

The car finally came to rest on the street in front of the house. It had entered the back of the house, remember.

Incredibly, no one was hurt. But it doesn’t take a first-class imagination to see how badly this could have turned out if someone had been home at the time.

Why We Fight Drunk Driving

A great deal of legislation in drunk driving matters centers around prevention, particularly prevention of recidivism. That is a good thing. More effort needs to be put into preventing drunk driving because it is not just dangerous, it is unpredictable. It puts not just drivers and passengers in danger, and not just pedestrians either. It can put in harm’s way people who are nowhere near the road, and who imagine themselves to be as safe as can be in their own homes.

Oregon has ignition interlock laws and stiff penalties for repeat drunk drivers for just this reason. As bad as a wrecked house is – and it’s a dreadful experience that many thousands of people are experiencing right now –  death or injury is what we’re really trying to prevent with DUI laws. The devastation wrought by one Oregon drunk driver on one residential street in McMinnville should leave us in no doubt of the danger of drunk driving.