Wednesday, December 30, 2009
A new blood-alcohol record set by South Dakota drunk
A Sturgis woman had a blood-alcohol level of .708 percent, possibly a state record, when she was found earlier this month behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle parked on Interstate 90, according to Meade County State’s Attorney Jesse Sondreal.
A South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper discovered Marguerite Engle, 45, on Dec. 1 passed out behind the wheel of a delivery truck reported stolen in Rapid City.
Her blood-alcohol level was almost nine times South Dakota’s legal limit of .08 percent.
Checks with local and state labs where blood-alcohol levels are tested suggest Engle’s reading may be the highest ever recorded in South Dakota, Sondreal said.
Sondreal said a state chemist recalled a sample that tested .53, but nothing higher, in his more than 30 years on the job.
Dr. Robert Looyenga, who recently retired from the Rapid City Police Department’s forensic laboratory, told Sondreal that the highest blood-alcohol sample he tested measured .56 percent.
Sondreal’s research indicates that a blood-alcohol level of .40 is considered a lethal dose for about 50 percent of the population.
“Engle’s was almost double that,” Sondreal said.
After she was found, Engle was hospitalized and freed on bond.
Posted by Palmoni at 10:59 AM