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Jefferson County

Warm Springs Police say Hwy. 26 drunk driver had .77 blood alcohol level

(Update: More information from Warm Springs police)

WARM SPRINGS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A driver and hit-and-run suspect crashed on Highway 26 Friday afternoon and was found to have a blood alcohol level of .77%, more than nine times the legal limit, police said.

Madras police reported a hit-and-run crash around 1 p.m. near the Plateau Travel Plaza in Madras, Warm Springs police said in a Facebook posting.

The vehicle, a Ford Explorer, was reported to be traveling toward Warm Springs. Officers found the vehicle near Pelton Dam Road, and pulled over the driver, observing signs of impairment and several alcohol beverage containers in the vehicle, Lt. Ron Gregory said in a news release Monday.

When asked to get out of the SUV, the driver refused and took off, leading police on a short pursuit.

After about a half-mile, the 28-year-old driver tried to pass another vehicle and was forced back into his own lane by an oncoming car, Gregory said. The driver lost control of the SUV and crashed into a concrete barrier beside the road.

Along with the extremely high alcohol level, the driver had a suspended license for a misdemeanor-level DUII, police said.

The driver was taken to the hospital for medical evaluation. Officers said criminal charges are pending.

Warm Springs police also thanked ODOT, Oregon State Police, Madras police and Jefferson County sheriff's deputies for their assistance.

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    1. Unusual yes, impossible no.
      The world record survived BAC is twice that at 1.480%.
      (Look it up, I did.)
      Granted many people have died from far lower BACs.

    2. I thought the exact same thing but then I did some research and it was shocking! Apparently, the highest recorded BAC is a whopping 1.48%! The Record for an American is .914.

      Our guy is certainly an all-star but he has a ways to go to get the record!! On the other hand, if our driver is a woman she might have the new American record! .70 was the highest I could find for a woman.

    3. Oh no, my hunch is that there are a few people wandering the streets of Bend that barely feel buzzed down at that BAC. Fortunately they’ve been car-less for a while now.

    4. Addiction causes a higher tolerance, so over time this is not impossible. This person has likely been drinking a very long time. I would be very surprised if they didn’t have issues internally from that level of use. Sadly, this is not an isolated issue and the ER sees high amounts like this more than you’d think.

  1. That is a professional drinker. There have been higher BAC recorded, but that level indicates a long, heavy use history. I hope he can get some help while he’s locked up.

  2. From a news article in another state: A BAC of 0.42 amounts to about 1 part alcohol per 238 parts blood, if you break it down into a cocktail recipe, which seems appropriate. To hit a BAC of 0.42 and still be alive, let alone be able to operate a motor vehicle, requires significant physiological changes that come with years of heavy drinking.
    Many of us who read the news release of the arrest have had the same reaction: Is that even possible?

    Researchers who studied 700 deaths by acute alcohol poisoning found an average BAC of 0.36+0.09 g/100mL for men, which puts our weekend driver’s BAC in the 77th percentile. For deaths by alcohol poisoning. This means the vast majority of us would be lucky to be alive after this level of binge drinking.

  3. All this science doesn’t negate the fact he’s been there before, has a suspended license and is still on the road. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a way to keep these people off the road. Between the alcohol, marijuana and decriminalization of the harder drugs, the roads are becoming more dangerous all the time.

  4. If the person was heading west towards Warm Springs, I have to wonder if he is one
    of the locals that hang out at the old Shell station next to the Rainbow Market?
    You can tell the people that hang out there are some hard core drinkers…
    Over the years I have seen two different people passed out in the middle of the highway
    on the bridge, not to mention several that were passed out on the shoulder of the highway.
    What a life… I’m sure glad that L.E was able to get him stopped before he killed someone.

    1. funny how you low key went the route you did. “locals”, instead of native from the Rez. Could have been anyone, the area doesn’t exactly mean it was a local. I have fam on the Warm Springs Rez that don’t drink.

      1. I definitely wasn’t trying to imply that everyone that lives on the Rez drinks,
        and I agree that he could be from anywhere, but you have to admit that the
        people that hang out next to the Rainbow Market are very experienced drinkers…

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