DUI offenses can have terrible consequences. When someone drives while under the influence they not only put themselves in danger, as well as everyone else on the road. In some cases, issues involving a DUI can even extend well past the road, as was the case for the town of Missoula, Montana.
On March 22, approximately 2000 Missoula residents suddenly lost power to their homes and businesses. There were no harsh winds, or other environmental factors going on to cause the outage because the cause was manmade.
Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welch explained the incident, “Just before 1:00 pm, officers were called to the report of an accident in the 1800 block of East Broadway, on their arrival they observed that a single passenger car had left the roadway and struck a power pole and dropped power lined,” said Welch.
Travis Bushnell was found uninjured at the site of the crash and subsequently charged with driving under the influence. This is Bushnell’s first DUI offense. Bushnell is not currently facing any other charges, though he could be facing civil penalties from Northwest Energy, the owner of the utility pole and connecting lines.
The crash caused approximately 2000 Northwest Energy power customers to lose their power, but the utility company could get most of their customers powered back on by 4:00 pm.
The type of damage and tragedies caused by drunk drivers has legislations across the country moving to keep people from driving under the influence in the first place. Utah recently signed into law legislation that drops the DUI blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold from .08 to .05. Many states are also considering harsher penalties for first time DUI offenders such as Bushnell. Currently, 28 states and Washington DC require first-time offenders to have interlock devices installed on their vehicles and other states such as Florida are considering similar legislation.
Even if it’s the first time driving intoxicated, drunk drivers can cause serious tragedy and damage. If you are ever debating whether you’re too intoxicated to drive, you are. Before you drink always have a plan to get home safely.