Recent stories that involve extremely intoxicated drivers:

Man with blood alcohol level nearly 5x legal limit didn’t know what county he was in, police say

Technically speaking, that shouldn’t be possible. Most charts linking behavior to various levels of intoxication would predict that at .42, the driver in question was already comatose, due to alcohol overdose. Certainly he wouldn’t have been out driving on the sidewalks of a strange neighborhood, convinced he was in a different county altogether.

Still, there are plenty of case reports of people doing pretty much the same thing with comparable levels of alcohol in their bloodstream. It usually results in a bad outcome.

Sometimes the BAL ranges far beyond .42.

The Highest Blood Alcohol Concentration Ever Recorded

Of course, we have to consider the test itself. One defense attorney routinely requested service logs from local law enforcement to make certain that the instruments had been calibrated and maintained according to department policy. If they hadn’t — a fairly common occurrence —  he could use that to ask the judge to exclude the test results from evidence. It frequently worked. 

Testing done at the hospital or emergency room would presumably be more reliable than the roadside variety, but hospital samples are often taken only hours after an accident, when the driver’s BAL has already dropped.

Meanwhile, on the same general theme, and occurring not far away from our first incident:

Drunk driver crashes into, destroys Clayton County family’s home, police say

Quote: “The driver ran a stop sign and hit the front porch of a mobile home, completely dislodging it from the house.”

Something similar happened in my own neighborhood. It was past midnight when  a vehicle missed a left turn and careened instead onto my neighbor’s lawn, through an outer wall of the house, and into the front bedroom. Fortunately, the people who slept in that bedroom were out of town at the time, or things could have been a lot worse,

When they did return, the homeowner examined the damage and was mystified as to how the driver had managed to avoid an enormous decorative boulder that stood squarely in its path.

I wondered if the driver was so drunk he never even noticed the boulder was there.