Bay Area/ North SF Bay Area/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on March 01, 2024
Petaluma Police Arrest Rohnert Park Woman Suspected of DUI After Drive-Thru DestructionSource: Google Street View

A Petaluma woman was busted for DUI after she reportedly careened through a freeway at crawling speeds and demolished landscaping at a Jack in the Box drive-thru, police said. Ellen Eicher of Rohnert Park was arrested late Tuesday on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to a statement from the Petaluma Police Department.

The incident began when a tipster spotted a Ford Ranger doing 30mph on the freeway and veering unpredictably. The concerned citizen tailed the vehicle as it exited the highway and pulled over at a fast-food joint on N McDowell Blvd, where they flagged down an officer. The witness provided a detailed description of the driver and their erratic driving behavior.

Upon arrival, the patrol officer located the vehicle and watched as it started up again, this time heading into the drive-thru lane. Eicher’s misadventure culminated in her vehicle jumping the curb and uprooting plants, according to the police department's Facebook page. Once stopped, she displayed obvious signs of intoxication, the cops said.

Eicher reportedly confessed to boozing it up at a bar in Cotati before trying to drive home. The DUI investigation concluded with Eicher’s arrest after she was determined to be under the influence, the statement detailed. She was taken to the Sonoma County Jail and booked for DUI.

The Petaluma Police highlighted the critical role of the civilian who alerted them and stressed the importance of community involvement in keeping the streets safe. "We would like to thank the witness who flagged down our officer to ensure the safety of community members and other motorists," they said in their public statement. The department has been actively working to cut down on alcohol-related traffic incidents and urged residents to make responsible choices by arranging for a sober driver or using a ride-sharing service to avoid crippling fines, penalties, and a suspended license.