By Sarah Fenske
Six months ago, I wrote my first column about a Valley motorist who found his life turned upside down when he collided with a drunk driver. Bryant Wilkerson was arrested and charged with a host of felonies, including manslaughter, while the teenage girl he collided with -- who was legally intoxicated -- hadn't even been arrested for DUI.
I thought this was an isolated case, and to some extent, it was. (How many drunk drivers don't get booked after they kill their passenger? Not many.)
But it bears a startling resemblance to a number of other cases I've written about since -- cases where overzealous cops and prosecutors arrested Valley drivers under bizarre circumstances.
I've written about a mother who was charged with three drunk-driving related felonies after having only half a mimosa. I wrote about another woman who didn't drink anything, yet still police were convinced she was legally intoxicated. And, in my column this week, I tell you about a driver who stopped to call 911 after a speeding drunk crashed into a restaurant. The caller, who was stone-cold sober, is now facing the same charges as the drunk guy.
It's crazy stuff. And because so many of you are following these stories, and so many of you have expressed concern about these cases, we have put together a special package titled Drive at Your Own Risk where you can access all of them at once.
If you've only caught one or two these columns, be sure to take a look. And if this is all news to you, well, you'd better read at least one column, pronto. There's a lot of scary stuff happening on the road these days; we're doing our best to make sure you're prepared.
One little postscript: The teenage driver I wrote about in the first column, Laura Varker, has since been charged with a number of misdemeanors. Just shows you what a little media glare can do.