Late night fast food and impaired driving appear to have at least a small amount of correlation. Though a greasy burger might sound great after a few drinks, it’s critical to have a sober person do the driving. In the past few weeks alone, officers have arrested several drivers across the country after they drunkenly maneuvered their way through drive-thru lanes.
The first instance occurred in Maryland, when a 47-year-old man from Severna Park was arrested and charged with drunk driving after going through a Taco Bell drive-thru lane. The incident occurred a little after 2 a.m. when officers say they received a call from restaurant employees who accused the man of acting belligerently.
The impaired motorist ordered food, but was for some reason refusing to pull up to the second window, demanding that he be served his food at the first window. When employees refused, the man began blowing his horn and cursing. The man then made matters worse by identifying himself as a state police officer, something that led to additional charges when the real officers eventually arrived.
Police say the man failed a series of field sobriety tests, specifically; he was unable to maintain his balance. The man also smelled of alcohol and had blood-shot eyes. He’s now been charged with DWI as well as impersonating an officer.
In another case, this time out of Utah, a man was arrested after he fell asleep behind the wheel, blocking the drive-thru lane. The 38-year-old fell asleep in his car after placing his order. Employees called police and took the keys out of the ignition, though no one bothered to wake the driver.
When police arrived and asked if he had been drinking, the man said that he had, but only a little bit. His slurred words and clear intoxication meant officers were not even able to perform standard field sobriety tests and simply arrested him, charging him with suspicion of DUI and having an open container in his car.
Last year, a young man was arrested in Apple Valley for drunken behavior at a Taco Bell. The man started off on the wrong foot by making a pass at the female employee working the drive-thru window. After being rebuffed, the driver pulled into a nearby parking space and flashed his lights at the employee, saying he was going to wait for her to get off work. Police arrived soon thereafter and found him with a BAC nearly twice the legal limit.
The lesson from all of these cases is that drunk driving laws apply equally regardless of what kind of pavement the vehicle is located on. Minnesota’s DWI laws mean that those on interstates or drive-thru lanes are held to exactly the same standards. Even if you’re simply cruising the Taco Bell parking lot, you should understand that you could be charged with drunk driving if you are under the influence.
Source: Article by Ashlee Kieler, published at Consumerist.com.