DUI warning issued after woman is trapped for hours in crash

DUI warning issued after woman is trapped for hours in crash »Play Video
A suspected drunk driver spent several hours trapped in this crashed car early Sunday after she went airborne on a rural road.
OLYMPIA, Wash. - State troopers are warning drivers to beware because officers are making an alarming number of DUI arrests this holiday weekend.

The warning goes out to those who are drinking - and to innocent drivers who may cross paths with a drunk driver.

Troopers already have responded to some truly close calls this weekend.

The Washington State Patrol says a woman who went airborne on a rural road was trapped for several hours before anyone noticed her car in the trees.

And officers stopped a wrong-way driver on Highway 101 who thought he was on a different highway in a different part of the state.

With Monday being a holiday, there could be more dangerous hours ahead on the roads as too many drunk drivers climb behind the wheel.

"It's a scary thought to think somebody's out on the road, not really in control of themselves or their vehicle," says Trooper Guy Gill of the Washington State Patrol.

State troopers in Thurston and Pierce counties have made at least 55 DUI arrests so far this weekend - including, officers say, the 29-year-old driver of this car that careened off the road north of Lacey.

She survived the crash - through pure luck, troopers say.

Trooper Gill is so concerned about the alarming number of DUIs this holiday weekend, he blared it all over Twitter.

"We want people to know that's our goal," Gill says. "We want to remove as many of those drivers from our roads as we can."

In one tweet about the 29-year-old woman, Gill wrote: "Apparently this driver is a hard learner. It's not her first DUI. ... Use a designated driver, take a taxi, call a friend, make another choice."

Sunday afternoon at Hannah's Bar and Grill in Olympia is relaxed, providing a chance to ask the bartender: how can taverns help?

"I take it personally because I always put myself in somebody else's shoes," says bartender Rob Miller.

For him, not overserving is about more than just protecting himself legally. He feels it's his moral responsibility to intervene and call a cab when necessary.

"We watch how they're acting and interacting with others. If they're obviously intoxicated, we won't serve them," he says.

While the woman in the Lacey-area DUI accident injured only herself, drunk driving accidents too often claim innocent victims.

"You're putting yourself and putting the lives of everybody else on the road at risk," says Gill.