If drinking and driving is dangerous, and texting and driving is dangerous, what is drinking and driving and texting? A recipe for disaster, according to the Fairbanks Police Department, which reported to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner the sad case of Roger Dean Ostbloom from the Interior City. He went out for a few drinks Sunday, consumed just under the old legal blood-alcohol content level of 0.10, got in his truck to drive home, looked down to text message, and looked up to see that he'd wandered into the oncoming lane of traffic.
Ostbloom's truck then struck a sport-utility vehicle in a nasty, head-on crash that broke the leg of the other driver. Ostbloom confessed to police he'd been texting. Officers who smelled alcohol on his breath had him blow into a breathalyzer. He blew 0.097, which is above the new standard of 0.08 for drunk driving.
Police charged Ostbloom, 40, with a felony -- second-degree assault -- and two misdemeanors, driving under the influence and driving a motor vehicle with a screen device operating, a law that makes criminalizes driving and texting. The News-Miner noted that arrests for texting while driving are uncommon in Alaska but they do happen.
A cursory study by the staff of "Car and Driver" magazine concluded texting and driving is even more dangerous than drinking and driving.
There appear to have been no studies done on drinking and texting and driving, but it's clearly a bad, bad idea.
Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)alaskadispatch.com