A young woman in Arlington, Texas, was killed earlier this month when her car was struck by a pickup truck whose driver said he was distracted while performing a sobriety test.
Alexis “Lexxy” Butler, 18, was easing her way into the street from her driveway when the truck, driven by a 31-year-old man, slammed into her vehicle on Nov. 10. She died a week later in the hospital.
The police have not publicly released the truck driver’s name, but they have determined he was not inebriated at the time of the crash. He told police he was operating his vehicle while performing a court-ordered sobriety test.
Ignition interlocks are typically installed in an individual’s vehicle when they have been arrested before for drunken driving.
The devices aren’t supposed to allow the driver to start the vehicle until they perform the test. How the driver in this incident was performing his sobriety test while driving the vehicle has police puzzled.
“It’s very concerning to us, as a police department, that an individual may be operating some type of ignition equipment while they’re in a moving vehicle,” Lt. Chris Cook said.
However, some ignition interlock devices do require users to perform a “rolling re-test,” in which drivers are randomly told to blow into the device while driving. If that test is failed, the car is not automatically stopped, but instead flashes its lights and honks the horn until the driver pulls over.
The truck driver indicated to police that he was performing a re-test when he crashed into Butler’s vehicle.
Police are hoping to recreate the accident scene to get more details and to determine whether an arrest will be made, USA Today reports.
The driver told police the test required his attention for around four seconds while he was driving, during which Butler was backing out of her driveway. There were no marks on the road indicating the male driver had made an attempt to stop.
One has to wonder whether re-tests are necessary or just another hazard on the roadway for other drivers to worry about. While many states have banned the use of cellphones while driving, other laws, like ones requiring sobriety re-tests, seem to have the opposite priority in mind. And in this instance, a young person’s life was lost as a result.