A story from Northern California offers a vivid reminder for us here in Oregon that drunk driving can lead to all kinds of trouble above and beyond car crashes. According to a recent account in the Red Bluff Daily News, a man is now in prison after what appears to have been an alcohol-fueled road rage incident on Interstate 5.
The paper reports that the alleged incident unfolded after a 21-year-old driver passed a car on the right. That vehicle was driven by 66-year-old Warren Hawkins. The younger driver reportedly went around Hawkins after driving behind him for some time in the fast lane where Hawkins was reportedly traveling several miles per hour below the speed limit.
Hawkins allegedly responded by first pulling alongside the younger man “yelling and making hand gestures,” and then attempting to side-swipe him twice. He then moved back behind the 21-year-old’s vehicle so that he could ram it – again, twice. The paper reports that Hawkins next followed his alleged victim when he exited the interstate, making a u-turn in an intersection and then coming “back the wrong way… before swerving left to complete a circle” around the younger man. The out-of-control driver was reportedly shouting “death threats out an open window” when police arrived on the scene.
On one level it is hard to say anything about this other than…wow. By the time the incident was over drunk driving was the least of Hawkins’ concerns. According to the Daily News, he has also been charged with “assault with a deadly weapon and making terrorist threats.”
Taking the longer view, the incident is a reminder for Oregonians of just how much damage a drunk driver can actually do. When out of control drivers in Portland, or elsewhere, become a menace to everyone on the road our courts play an important role in ensuring that justice is done. The damage done by drivers like Hawkins often is not fully addressed by license suspensions or even time in jail. An Oregon drunk driving attorney can help victims use our court system to achieve the justice they deserve in the wake of incidents like this one.
Red Bluff Daily News: Road rage lands Cottonwood man in custody