Whoa! Driver arrested for hit-and-run had blood alcohol level 5 1/2 times the legal limit

TACOMA, Wash. -- Pierce County sheriff's deputies arrested a suspect in a hit-and-run accident and the man blew a .444 and a .445 blood alcohol level on the breathalyzer test, which is over 5.5 times the legal limit, the sheriff's department said Thursday.

At 7:55 p.m. on Wednesday, deputies were called to a hit-and-run crash at 200th Street East and Canyon Road East in the Frederickson area of Pierce County. The 911 caller said her SUV had been rear-ended by a white sedan at a stoplight, and the driver of the sedan fled on foot.

"When deputies arrived on scene, witnesses said the suspect appeared to be intoxicated and had dropped his wallet as he tried to run away," a news release said. "Deputies were able to locate the suspect less than ¼ of a mile away walking in the middle of the roadway on 50th Ave. E.; as they drove toward the suspect, deputies could see he was lethargic, extremely unsteady on his feet and fell to the ground approximately 7 or 8 times."

The sheriff's department said deputies had to hold the suspect up to keep him from falling down, and that he could not control his bladder.

The man was arrested for DUI and hit-and-run. About one hour after the crash, "the suspect blew a .444 and a .445 on the breathalyzer test -- which is over 5.5 times the legal limit! The highest possible reading on a BAC datamaster is a .500, it maxes out as an error for any higher blood alcohol content levels," the sheriff's department said.

He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

"Considering the time of day, the speeds and rural location of the roadway/intersection, and the extreme level of intoxication of the driver, it is VERY fortunate that someone as not seriously injured or killed," the sheriff's department said.