He Yells, Blows Horn, Flips Off Cops. But He Wasn’t That Drunk…

wisconsin-drunk-driver-yellsThe interesting thing about drunk driving, as we’ve sometimes said, is that many people who start out to commit the crime don’t realize they’re doing it.

If they were to spray-paint graffiti on a public monument, they’d know they were breaking the law. If they started a bar fight, they’d be aware of what assault charges were.

But people regularly down too many drinks and then get into a car, believing that they’re “okay to drive.” They don’t believe they’re committing a crime, a state of affairs which, fortunately, cuts no ice with the courts.

A recent non-believer found out the truth when he was spotted in downtown LaCrosse, Wisconsin yelling and threating people. No one took him seriously until he got in a car and drove six blocks, sticking his head out the window, blowing his horn, and flipping off the police.

That’s when the police decided to take him seriously. When arrested, the man was found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .13, or more than 50 percent above the legal intoxication limit.

The Alcohol Double Whammy

What’s crazy about this case isn’t that the man drove drunk – thousands of people do that every day in this country – but that, when arrested, he admitted that he was drunk (and also high on a drug) but said he could have made it home safely if the police had let him go.

Alcohol does that – all at once it compromises our ability to drive, and increases our belief that we can manage to drive. The very thing that makes alcohol dangerous for drivers is the thing that sends the drivers onto the road.

A man who doesn’t have the presence of mind not to flip off the cops won’t have the presence of mind to deal with an unexpected obstacle in the roadway – a car, a bicyclist, or a child. That’s what makes drunk drivers scary, and why one Wisconsin drunk driver now has his third OWI, and a lot of consequences to face.