A Missouri teenager is facing charges for allegedly driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs after three people showed up at a hospital emergency room early Friday morning, according to an Associated Press report carried by Mid-Missouri’s KOMU-TV. Apparently, only one of the three people was in medical distress. Authorities claim that the owner of a car that brought the sick person to the hospital stayed in the ER area with the person in distress while a 17-year-old woman who was part of the group went back outside to move the car.
Police claim that the 17-year-old bumped into the parking garage structure and a parked car while attempting to move the vehicle outside the emergency room. Authorities claim that the young woman then reversed the vehicle and ran into the window of the emergency room.
During the stressful time, the teen is accused of pulling forward again, striking the same parked car a second time. The alleged event was reported around 3:00 Friday morning in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, Missouri.
Law enforcement apparently is seeking surveillance video, but claim that the 17-year-old had been the person who attempted to move the vehicle at the hospital. No injuries resulted from the incident. The 17-year-old woman, however, is accused of DWI. It is not clear from media reports what suspicions authorities are basing the DWI charges upon—police say that authorities obtained a blood sample from the teen—toxicology results have not been released or publicly reported.
DWI charges in Missouri can bring a variety of consequences if a person is convicted of the charge. While the laws allow for placing a person behind bars, additional direct and collateral consequences (such as increases in car insurance rates and an impact on driving privileges) are common in DWI cases, It is important to have the allegations and procedures reviewed to help protect rights when criminal charges arise.
Source: KOMU-TV, “Car Drives Through Hospital ER Window,” Associated Press, May 31, 2013; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Drunken driver tries to make the hospital ER a drive-through in Chesterfield,” Kim Bell, May 31, 2013