What would you do…if you are driving drunk, feeling sleepy—and have alcholic biochemistry? (TAR Lite # 15)
1. Make a snap decision to get clean and sober and call 911 to report yourself to make sure you don’t hurt anyone?
2. Pull over and call a cab to take you home?
3. Pull over and stumble home on foot?
4. Stop in the left-hand turn lane in front of a police station and pass out?
Congratulations if you selected #4, which is what Michael Fleurizard, 20, of Florida did. Responding to a call of a driver passed out behind the wheel, several Jupiter, Florida police officers approached. When the officers managed to wake him, Fleurizard resisted attempts to have his BAL taken and instead drove off, dragging one officer and striking another. Luckily, the two officers suffered only minor injuries. You can check out the amazing police dash-cam here.
A police chase ensued, but due to his erratic and dangerous driving the police backed off. A bit later the West Palm Beach police found him crashed into a guardrail. Fleurizard was charged with two counts of aggravated battery on a police officer, aggravated fleeing to elude, possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana. While officers were apparently unable to take his BAL, it’s likely the drug alcohol played a role in this misadventure since addicts don’t typically fall asleep while using cocaine.
If we ever see someone asleep at the wheel, we know—nearly without a doubt—they are under the influence and, therefore, potentially lethal. It appears from the video an officer was in Fleurizard’s car, perhaps trying to shift it into park (Fleurizard’s foot might have been on the brake), turn the car’s engine off and take the keys. The officers likely did all they could to protect themselves, but we might wonder about placing the police cars so far away from Fleurizard’s car—they were at least several feet away on either side, which allowed Fleurizard to escape and, therefore, continue to endanger other drivers. But hey, at least he wasn’t moving when he fell asleep!