No good deed goes unpunished. And when you’re helping people who are inclined to make bad decisions, don’t be surprised if one of those bad decisions is to try and mess you up. It happened in Wake County last weekend.
It started with a DWI crash on I-40. Both cars were unable to move after the crash, and one driver, Juan Diega Martinez, was injured. A man described on the news as a Good Samaritan stopped to give medical assistance to Martinez. While he did so, the other driver’s passenger, one Lauren Starks, stole his SUV.
Eventually Starks was caught. The upshot:
- Martinez was charged with DWI
- The other driver in the crash was charged with DWI
- Starks was charged with DWI (yes, she was impaired as well as impulsive) and car theft
- The Good Samaritan is probably rethinking the percentages on being a Good Samaritan at a DWI crash
So, what are the chances that one drunk driver will hit another drunk driver? Probably a bit better than you think. An alert driver who spots a drunk driver might be able to react quickly and prevent a crash, though sadly it doesn’t always happen. But not only is a drunk driver much more likely to crash, he or she is much less likely to avoid a crash, as alcohol diminishes reaction time, impairs hearing and vision, and makes concentration much more difficult. You need those faculties to drive safely, and to avoid others who are driving recklessly.
Even if you’re sober, that won’t protect you from someone who tries to steal your car while you’re out doing a good deed on the roadside. That’s also a good example of bad judgement caused by alcohol. Unfortunately, not even an ignition interlock can prevent someone from jumping into a Good Samaritan’s car. For that, we have police, and they had plenty to do on I-40 last weekend.