Source: Sherman Publications

Police: Drunk driver crashes into church sign

by CJ Carnacchio

September 28, 2011

A suspected drunk driver was arrested early Sunday morning after she crashed her vehicle into a church sign, completely destroying it.

The 21-year-old Orion Township woman was southbound on M-24 in her 1999 Jeep when a witness claims she began to swerve, lost control of the vehicle, ran off the roadway and crashed into the freestanding brick sign outside the Oxford Free Methodist Church (790 S. Lapeer Rd.), according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.

Neither she nor anyone else was injured by the crash.

“It’s just a sign. It can be replaced,” said Senior Pastor Michael Alexander. “I was glad (the driver) hit that instead of a building or any other vehicles. I wasn’t angry. I was just glad everybody was okay.”

The crash occurred at approximately 4:22 a.m.

When the deputy approached the suspect, he indicated she “smelled strongly of intoxicating beverages,” her speech was “slurred” and “rambling,” and “her eyes were glassy and bloodshot.”

“She was unsteady on her feet when she exited the motor vehicle,” the deputy wrote in his report.

A preliminary breath test administered at the scene revealed she had a blood alcohol content of .101 percent, which is above the legal limit of .08 percent.

The suspect told the deputy she had been drinking at a bar in Auburn Hills and had consumed four alcoholic beverages – a Sex on the Beach, Long Island Iced Tea, Pink Jersey and a Bacardi and orange juice.

She indicated her last drink was around midnight, the report stated.

After leaving the bar, the suspect said she drove to the Meijer in Oxford Township to purchase a music CD.

She was on her way home from there when the crash occurred. She told the deputy she believes she fell asleep while driving and the crash woke her up, the report stated.

The suspect was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and lodged in the Oakland County Jail.

Alexander indicated the church will probably replace the sign and maybe even upgrade from what was there.

“It would be great if we could replace it with an LED sign or something like that – something more modern and up to date,” he said. “But we really haven’t even had a chance to talk about it yet.”