Just when we had our fill of drunk driving reports, an incredible new story leaves us baffled and questioning whether drivers will ever heed our warning to steer clear of drinking and driving. Late Friday, a driver crashed his vehicle through the chain link fence at John Wayne Airport and careened toward parked aircraft on the tarmac. The vehicle came to a stop after colliding with a small aircraft and the driver was immediately arrested, uninjured, for suspicion of driving under the influence.
The airport, located in Irvine, is the only commercial service airport in Orange County. The driver allegedly jumped a curb, smashed through the fence and crashed into the plane with such force that the plane screeched forward and collided with another plane. The impact caused both to begin leaking fuel and presented a major fire hazard for Orange County police and fire rescue, who responded to the scene immediately.
Sheriff’s deputies report that the fence now contains a 40-foot hole. Police must now station themselves at the compromised portion of fence to ensure trespassers do not enter the airport.
John Wayne Airport mostly handles small, private passenger planes. Larger commercial planes tend to congregate at the east end of the facility.
According to multiple news outlets, no one was injured in the accident and the leaked fuel was cleaned up quickly and efficiently by emergency response vehicles.
The major concern is that no one was injured in this, yet another, DUI incident. However, the damage to the airport’s property is no small consequence to the impaired driver. As well, he will be required to meet the state’s tough consequences to driving while intoxicated as California routinely punishes intoxicated drivers to the utmost the law will allow. For any driver facing a first DUI charge, penalties range from up to 6 months incarceration and fines from $1,000-$1,600. Incidental consequences include mandatory reporting to insurance providers, installation of an ignition interlock device and six months of a suspended license. As a motorist accumulates subsequent DUI offenses, fines and jail time increase steadily and those facing a fourth conviction could spend close to half of one decade behind bars.
Driving under the influence is never O.K. The risk to others is too great as is the potential for damaging a significant amount of personal property. If you have recently been injured in an automobile accident by one driving under the influence, contact us today at (800)-300-0001. We would love to go over your claim and help you realize your civil rights.