Saturday, October 20, 2007

The not-officially-drunk driver

My parents were in a car wreck a month ago. It wasn't their fault; they were stopped at a traffic light. A drunk guy tried to take a turn too fast and smashed into another car, which then bounced into mom and dad. They were both banged up, and the airbag broke mom's arm. Laura and I got to the scene a few minutes later (this was the night The Planets opened; mom and dad came to the show, but left before the post-show reception), and the guy who caused the wreck was obviously drunk. He was drunk enough that I could even tell by the smell what he had been drinking. We left the scene and followed mom's ambulance to the hospital, and assumed the police would be arresting the guy shortly.

But the drunk guy got away with it. Apparently if you're the first person to talk to the police, they just take your version of what happened as the truth, and nobody else's statement even makes it into the accident report. They also obviously don't even look at the positions of the wrecked cars to see if your version makes any sense. Mom got a call from the second car's insurance company asking her to explain the accident, since the damage to the cars wasn't even close to matching the accident described in the police report. And they never tested the at-fault guy for alcohol, so he gets away clear. And, since the official report is based solely on his made-up version of events, the accident isn't even officially his fault for insurance purposes.

I already have huge heaping amounts of No Respect for our local police as a whole, and this doesn't help. How did the officer not notice that the damage to the cars didn't match the statement? Why didn't he take the minimal step of asking the other drivers for a statement too? And how could he not notice the guy was hammered -- how could he not at least notice that the guy smelled like Crown Royal? Mom was banged up pretty bad, and she's still having problems from the wreck. The drunk guy going to jail won't actually help her, I know, but it irritates me that he's suffering no consequences for his actions....

No comments: