Woman Drives Wrong Way Down the Highway -- For 18 Miles!

Interstate 5You don't hear a lot of "good" drunk driving stories. But one of the most bizarre I've ever heard might be just that. A woman was stopped by police this week after she'd driven 18 miles going the wrong way down Interstate 5 in Washington state, hitting speeds of as much as 100 miles per hour.

Can you just imagine, you're driving down the highway, minding your own business ... only to see someone coming directly at you? And at top speed no less? And now that your heart is palpating with fear, let me present the good news. No one was hurt. Wait, it gets better. 


No one was even hit by Pamela Drawsby, the 60-year-old woman who troopers said was "intoxicated and confused." That's not just good news. That's a miracle.

Because we all know that's not how it usually happens. Growing up in the middle of nowhere, I've seen more than my fair share of tragedies caused by alcohol. Friends have lost parents. Parents have lost children. And I have no hard statistics, but if I walk back down memory lane, it seems that more often than not, the person most seriously hurt by a drunk driver was not the person who imbibed. It's the other people on the road, completely innocent, driving to work or school.

So I'm not surprised that Drawsby had a number of near misses as she hurtled down the wrong lane of the highway. Fortunately this all went down at 2 a.m. rather than in the middle of rush hour, so there were fewer drivers on the road. Still, she came pretty darn close to hurting other people because of her (alleged at this moment) stupid mistakes. And she's left them all with their hearts in their throats.

Fortunately, she won't be able to do it again for quite some time. While Drawsby is going through the court system (she entered a plea of not guilty), a judge has required she use an ignition-interlock device to keep her car from starting if she has alcohol in her system. She also has to wear a special bracelet that will alert the court system if she imbibes.

Driving the wrong way, while drunk, at high speed on a major highway and not one person was hit? I'd say that's as happy ending as you can actually expect when alcohol and motor vehicles are involved -- don't you think?


Image via rutlo/Flickr

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