What would you do…if you caused an automobile accident, possibly resulting in injuries? (TAR Lite # 14)
1. Call 911 for an ambulance and exchange insurance information with the injured driver?
2. See if the injured person needs an ambulance and admit you were at fault?
3. Check your car for damage and, after seeing it is probably inoperable, check on the other driver and ask if he’d like you to call for help?
4. Flee the scene in your car but, when it dies a block away, leave your disabled vehicle, run a short distance and, when you realize you left a case of beer (with an open can) inside your car, turn around to go fetch it?
Congratulations if you selected #4, which is what Scott Lee Applegate, 50, did. While Patrolman Dustin Reeder was inspecting the disabled car a block from the incident, Applegate came back, grabbed the beer out of his car and, apparently unaware of the officer, ran away again. Reeder chased him down and wrote in his affidavit “he smelled of an alcoholic beverage and his speech was slightly slurred.” Applegate’s blood alcohol level was .22 per cent, which requires about 14 “drinks” over a four-hour period, the equivalent of 21 ounces of 80-proof liquor or 186 ounces of beer (14 12-ounce cans of 5% fairly standard suds). Applegate was charged with DUI and other related offenses.
Note that Applegate’s BAL was high enough to put the sober among us on our faces. He was not only driving accident-free (until he erred), but also ran, presumably without falling. If you think just anyone “could” be an alcoholic, you should try drinking to this blood alcohol level and see if you’re this functional. You won’t be, unless you have the biochemistry of an alcoholic.
This crash occurred two weeks after Applegate was convicted on a prior charge of DUI. More needs to be done to protect the rest of us from repeat DUI offenses and turn the Scott Lee Applegate’s of the world into productive human beings. If he had been issued an ankle bracelet (to monitor his BAL), Applegate may not have consumed any alcohol, let alone driven drunk, yet again. Who knows—it might have even put him on the path to sobriety.