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The Most Controversial Drunk Driving Cases in History
Ever since the invention of the automobile, there have always been those who have gotten behind the wheel while intoxicated. While the majority of these cases go unreported in the media, a few of them have stood out due to the abnormality of the results or the people involved. Here are six of these stories so you know the scope of what DUIs can entail.
- Washington DC, 1972. As a youth, George W Bush was connected with a couple of drunk driving cases. The most controversial was in 1972 while on a family holiday in Washington DC. Then 26, George W took his 16 year old brother out drinking. While driving back, he lost control of the car and ran over several bins. After this, he got home with the bin wedged under the vehicle. Bush dared his father to a fist fight after being accused of reckless driving. While this incident didn’t have serious consequences, Bush was actually arrested for drunk driving in a later incident in 1976.
- Paris, 1997. Arguably one of the most famous cases on this list, the death of Princess Diana shocked the world. The driver, Henri Paul, had a blood alcohol level of 1.75 grams per litre, well above the legal limit. The combination of intoxication plus pressure from pursuing paparazzi ultimately cost the lives of Henri Paul, Princess Di and her boyfriend Dodi Fayad.
- Los Angeles, 2006. The child actor, Haley Joel Osment, is best known for his role in The Sixth Sense. In 2006, he crashed his car into a brick pillar, flipping it over onto his roof. The actor sustained a broken rib and an injured shoulder, and was later charged with driving while intoxicated as well as possession of marijuana.
- California, 2006. Mel Gibson has garnered enough controversy over his lengthy career. Being pulled over on a Los Angeles highway in 2006 was certainly a situation for the top drunk driving solicitors in the industry. After going 87 mph in a 37 mph zone, police pulled him over and arrested him for being intoxicated. While this was bad enough, the star then allegedly launched into an extensive anti-semantic rant, accusing the police officer of being Jewish and blaming the race for all the world wars.
- Texas, 2013. More recently, some lower profile individuals have hit the headlines. Last year in Texas, a 14 year old crashed his pickup truck into two vehicles, killed four people. The judge offered a relatively lenient sentence, siting that “Affluenza” was the real cause. This psychological condition results in irresponsibility and reckless behaviour caused by the excessively free lifestyle rich parents typically give to their kids.
- Karlskrona, 2014. We’ll end on a slightly humorous note with a 68 year old Asian gentleman who was caught by police after a petrol station assistant notified them of his apparently intoxicated behaviour. However, the case was later dropped as the man was Asian and reacted differently to alcohol intake. This is one of the few cases where the racial background of an individual directly affected the sentence laid down in their drink driving case. On the other hand, Sweden is known for its unusual DUI results. For example, a man was let off because of his unusually high alcohol tolerance and another for actually being asleep behind the wheel (rather than just drunk).
These are just some of the more controversial cases that have emerged around the world. Since it’s not likely that people will stop drinking, we’re sure there will be more unusual drunk driving cases in the future as well!