The lead story on tonight's 10pm news was a DUI arrest the Sheriff's Department had made on Highway 90, the main road running through Pace. Since there had been a DUI fatality on the same highway but farther into Pensacola over the weekend, I was all ears. It turns out this incident occurred well east of here but since we're often on that road I was reminded of just how never know when the guy operating the car next to you is impaired.
But this wasn't just any ol' DUI. The driver was just 15 and didn't have a license yet. One might argue his weaving vehicle was the result of his lack of training and experience until the newscaster gave his blood alcohol. A .18. That's more than twice the limit for an adult and nine times over the limit for someone under 21. And he's 15...I still can't get over that.
Why was this 15-year-old unlicensed drunk driving a vehicle? Because the adult who was with him was even more drunk and recruited the young man as his chauffeur. The news report didn't say where they were going but I could speculate that it might have been to replenish the cooler and continue their party. Well...except that the adult (and I use that term loosely) in the passenger seat was wearing only his underwear. It must have been quite the celebration.
Fortunately, there wasn't an accident. Other drivers who witnessed the erratic driving had called law enforcement and a deputy was on the scene within minutes to stop the vehicle and make the arrests.
When the news went on to the next story to be reported, I was left shaking my head, wondering who in their right mind makes enough alcohol available to a 15-year-old that he would be so intoxicated and who would ask them to drive under those circumstances. Yes, I know...drunks don't always reason very well but still... The rule-follower in me just finds that unimaginable.
And then I flipped open the paper to find almost the identical situation had occurred in South Dakota with a 14-year-old driving drunk with his intoxicated father in the passenger seat. Apparently there's an epidemic of poor role-modeling going on. And here I thought texting was the big concern with teens behind the wheel. Shows what I know.