Police cited a Racine woman for drunken driving after they say she drove into oncoming traffic and crashed into a guardrail on North Green Bay Road Thursday evening.
The woman denied drinking alcohol, but she may have drank hand sanitizer, according to police.
According to a report by the Caledonia Police Department, a driver called 911 complaining about a reckless driver. The caller witnessed the woman go into traffic and crash into a guard rail on North Green Bay Road and continued driving. Police found the reported reckless driver on 4 Mile Road and Highway 38, where she was waiting at a stop sign.
As the woman waited, she was rifling for something in the back seat of the car. When she made the turn south on Highway 38 from 4 Mile Road, she failed to use her turn signal, the officer reported, and did not yield to oncoming traffic on Highway 38. Oncoming vehicles quickly slowed down to avoid crashing into her as she made the left-hand turn.
The officer tried to make a traffic stop, but the woman continued to look for things in her back seat. When she did stop, the officer reported she spoke slowly and slurred her words. The officer, according to the report, believed she was under the influence of drugs.
When the officer asked if she took medications, the woman told him she took anti-seizure medication, an antibiotic, cough medicine, four different anti-depressants and three different sleeping pills. The woman also had sores and scabs on her face, which are a sign of drug abuse, according to police.
The woman told police she takes too many pills. She had talked to her doctor about getting off of one of the sleeping pills, and she was headed to a 12-step meeting for her addiction to alcohol. The woman smelled of alcohol, but she denied drinking. However, the smell could have been from the cough medicine, she told police.
The woman told police she remembered hitting the guardrail, but didn’t recall driving her car into oncoming traffic.
Police conducted a field sobriety test on the woman, which she failed. After arresting her, the woman asked for the officer to get some of her things from her car. When he did, the officer found a bottle of hand sanitizer that was a quarter full. The officer noted in his report that “people who are alcoholics drink hand sanitizer to get the small amount of alcohol from it by drinking it.”
The woman’s blood-alcohol level was .127, which is just over the .08 legal limit. However, the woman continued to deny drinking alcohol.
Police cited the woman for suspicion of drunk driving, making an unsafe lane deviation and failing to yield the right of way from a stop sign.