A woman was arrested by CHP officers in Marin County Tuesday evening after she allegedly drove her vehicle across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in the bike lane, with a child in the backseat, and then failed a field sobriety test. Maybe she had just come from a Mardi Gras party?
"As the evening commute was in full swing around 5:15 yesterday we began receiving calls of a vehicle traveling westbound on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge," the CHP writes on Facebook. "Of the hundreds of cars on the bridge at that time, only [one] was driving in the closed off bike lane heading toward San Rafael."
Officers intercepted the vehicle just as it completed the bridge crossing, and they pulled over the female driver. They say "everything became clear" after briefly speaking with her, and that she was "clearly under the influence of alcohol and appeared to be incapable of safely operating her vehicle." Subsequent field sobriety tests suggested she had a blood alcohol level 2.5 times the legal limit. She was then arrested on suspicion of DUI and child endangerment, because of the three-year-old in the backseat.
The six-mile Richmond Bridge bike lane — which takes up a full car lane on the bridge's upper deck and is separated from traffic by a barrier — has only been open since November 16, and the Marin Independent Journal just reported that it has so far proven more popular for weekend bicycling excursions than for workday commuters.
That's lucky because this suspect didn't actually injure anyone during her misadventure. One commuter reportedly drove ahead and shouted to bicyclists and pedestrians across the barrier to tell them to get out of the driver's way.
"A big thank you to all of the wonderful witnesses that took the time to call in and let us know what was going on and warn people on the pathway before they became victims," the CHP says. "This driver clearly needed to be stopped before anyone was hurt!"