December holidays are notorious as a potentially deadly time of the year for drunk driving accidents. The perception is that motorists may indulge in too much alcohol at holiday parties and unwisely attempt to drive home. However, drunk driving accidents can and do happen at all times of the year, and despite the timing, a festive celebration does not appear to have been a factor in a Christmas Eve crash along Louisiana 34 in which a drunk driver allegedly rear-ended another vehicle and then left the scene.
In addition to driving while intoxicated (first offense) and hit and run, other charges against the driver, a 26-year-old man from West Monroe, include expired license plate, careless operation, improper lane usage, speeding and open container. Upon searching the vehicle, authorities discovered a sports drink bottle containing approximately six ounces of whiskey in the driver’s side cup holder and a six-pack of Miller Lite with only four bottles remaining.
A call came in to authorities approximately midway through the evening reporting the alleged accident. The gender of the caller is unknown, but he or she reported that a white truck bearing Alabama license plates had rear-ended the vehicle he or she was driving.
A law enforcement officer saw a vehicle matching the description traveling in the other direction as he approached the scene of the accident. The vehicle in question was reportedly doing 84 miles an hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. Upon turning around to follow, the officer reports that he witnessed the vehicle nearly run another car off the highway after crossing the center line.
Authorities then took the driver into custody upon completion of a traffic stop and took him to the local correctional center. He allegedly refused chemical testing after performing poorly on field sobriety tests but reportedly admitted to drinking prior to driving and leaving the scene after striking the vehicle.
Drunk driving is a serious charge on its own, but when combined with other charges, the penalties can be even more severe. It may be in the interest of individuals facing such charges to speak with an attorney.