Experts often advise inebriated people to take public transportation rather than risk getting a DUI by driving home, but the worst possible choice is to try to combine driving and public transportation.
This dangerous mixture, however, recently occurred in San Francisco when an alleged drunk driver steered his SUV into the start of an underground train tunnel, which, predictably, caused a bit of chaos.
The driver, 40-year-old Scott Mitchell, a resident of Sebastopol, California, was charged with three different crimes, including driving under the influence, after speeding into a municipal train tunnel at 6 a.m. last Thursday morning.
Mitchell was able to progress at a clip of roughly 40 miles per hour in the inbound direction of the morning trains. His progress was stopped about a half mile into the tunnel when his car became lodged between the tracks.
Tyonne Julian, a city employee who witnessed the bizarre event, claims that Mitchell actually switched tracks halfway through his tunnel drive in order to miss an oncoming train. Observers noted that it was a miracle that Mitchell didn’t ram into a train.
When Julian saw the crazed driver, he radioed city officials to stop the morning train traffic, which was put on hold for more than two hours as cleanup crews made the tracks safe again for train travel.
Of course, this two-hour delay occurred during a weekday downtown rush hour, which caused untold frustration among the hundreds of thousands of San Francisco commuters who were adversely affected that morning.
For his efforts, police charged Mitchell with a strange combination of violations, including driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on train tracks, and failing to obey a traffic sign (which, presumably, warned drivers that the train tunnel was not, in fact, for vehicles).
And while Mitchell may have failed to correctly practice the art of taking public transportation when drunk, he was at least honing in on the correct form of transit.
For people who like to drink, and have the advantage of living in a metropolitan area, forms of public transportation such as the bus or a train offer a safe, often enjoyable way to get home.
Even people under the influence of all sorts of substances typically have the capacity to climb aboard a train or bus and stumble out at the appropriate exit. Buses and trains have likely saved countless drivers from unwanted drunk driving arrests.
Of course, trains and buses aren’t the only alternative form of transportation for people who’ve had too many drinks. If, for example, you have extra cash on hand, taxis offer a more expensive, but equally safe form of transit.
On the other hand, if you are poor in cash but rich in friends, calling someone else to drive you home or designating a sober driver at the beginning of the night can help ensure that you get home without an encounter with angry police.