Washington Woman Arrested For DUI Ties Record For Highest Blood-Alcohol Concentration
By: Chris Kramer
In Tacoma, Washington, a woman has reportedly set a Pierce County record-a record of which she may not be too proud. She was arrested on suspicion of DUI and reportedly had a blood-alcohol reading of .50 on a breath test that was taken more than 2 hours after she was taken into. With a blood-alcohol concentration of .50, which is 6 times the legal limit, it is surprising that she was able to remain conscious during the test.
The Washington State Patrol toxicology lab says that a reading of .50 is the highest they have ever seen and that this level of blood-alcohol concentration would kill many people. Authorities say they have only seen a reading that high once before, when a King County driver was arrested for DUI in 2000. The legal limit is .08 in every state, and the Washington State Patrol lab reports that they find the average blood-alcohol content found in drunk driving suspects to be .15.
Let's face it. Although authorities never want to admit that the test may not be 100 percent accurate, when the lab technician sees a reading that high their initial thought must be that the breath test machine is broken. That's why in cases with an unusually high blood-alcohol reading using the breath test they proceed to plan B, which is the mandatory blood test. In this case they definitely had to do a blood test, which confirmed the breath-test reading of .50 blood alcohol content.
Police say that on May 10, 2007 Rebecca G. Lingbloom, 45, was seen by witnesses driving her car and swerving all over the road and that she nearly hit a pedestrian.
Lingbloom has pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol. Perhaps she feels that she is not guilty because she was not actually operating the vehicle when she was arrested. She was reportedly passed out behind the wheel of her car when she was located and taken into custody by a sheriff's deputy.
Lingbloom had been arrested twice before-both in the 1990's-for suspicion of drunk driving. Deputy prosecutor Bradley Moericke asked the judge to put her in jail and set bail at $20,000. He also requested that the judge to order her to be monitored with a house arrest type ankle bracelet in the event that she was able to make bail.
"I have concerns for the public's safety," the deputy prosecutor said.
Lingbloom appeared in court and told the judge that she had enrolled herself in a six-month rehab program for alcohol abuse after she was arrested. The public defender representing Lingbloom backed up her story, telling the judge that he had called the treatment facility and received confirmation that she was enrolled there.
The judge said he didn't want to jeopardize Lingbloom's rehabilitation by ordering her to jail and therefore denied the requests made by the deputy prosecutor. He has ordered her to continue treatment and return to court on July 24 for another hearing on the matter.