Drunk driver hospitalized with BAC of .55%, police say

MEDFORD, Ore. – A driver was found with the seemingly impossible blood alcohol content of .55%, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. That’s almost seven times the legal limit in Oregon. Medical experts say BACs over .40% bring the possibility of death from intoxication alone.

JSCO said on February 13 at about 9:30 a.m., 39-year-old Diane Marie Wilcox was driving a silver 2012 Mercedes Benz SUV on South Stage Road near Columbus Avenue. According to police, she was returning to her home after a trip to Taco Bell while “extremely intoxicated.” Another driver started following her and called police after seeing Wilcox’s vehicle hit several garbage cans on the side of the road.

Wilcox continued toward her home, eventually passing her driveway and driving into a ditch. Witnesses said she put the SUV in reverse, backed out onto the road and hit more garbage cans. Good Samaritans were able to stop Wilcox from driving until deputies arrived at the scene.

Police said Wilcox wasn’t injured in the crash, but she was taken to Rogue Regional Medical Center due to her high level of BAC, registering at .55% at the hospital.

Charges against Wilcox include driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while suspended, reckless driving and two counts of recklessly endangering another person. She also received citations for driving uninsured, failure to maintain a lane and driving with an open container of alcohol.

Arrest records Wilcox has been arrested before. On November 11, 2017, she was booked into the Jackson County Jail on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and recklessly endangering.

An investigation determined Wilcox drove from her home to the Taco Bell on Center Drive near Fred Meyer and then returned.

Deputies later learned Wilcox nearly hit two pedestrians walking along Kings Highway, about 100 yards south of Garfield Street. JSCO is working to identify those people. They’re described as an older couple wearing dark clothing and walking two medium-sized dogs.

Anyone with further information is asked to call the JSCO tipline at 541-774-8333.

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