Monday, February 7, 2011

Where is the perspective?

   Something is wrong here.

   I hear lots of apologies from NASCAR driver Michael Annett over his arrest for drunken driving (among other charges) and promises of strict accountability from his Rusty Wallace Inc. team. And NASCAR promises to investigate as well.

   What I don't see is any real action.

   Annett was found to have a blood alcohol level of .32 following his arrest early Sunday morning. That's FOUR times the legal limit of .08 in North Carolina. This isn't a case of someone "having a few beers." This is a serious problem.

   Do some research. Lethal alcohol poisoning  - meaning enough to cause death in half the population - begins around .40. That means some people can die with a higher level and some with less. Annett was pushing the envelope to the edge here.

   And he wasn't just affecting himself. He had one passenger in his car and hit another car with four people inside. The total estimated damages of the two vehicles was placed at $10,000 by the Mooresville Police.

   So far, the most concrete information we have is from team owner Rusty Wallace, who assured NASCAR fans in an interview with ESPN that Annett would drive in the Feb. 19 season opener at Daytona.

   Are you kidding me? The LAST thing I want to be assured of is that Annett is going to get behind the wheel of another car, this time going 200 mph. Where is the perspective? The common sense?

   This young man has a problem that goes far beyond this accident. Get him help. It's not enough that he's sorry for what he did. He needs to think about everything that could have happened, but luckily didn't.

   Sometimes getting right back in the car is not the most important thing.



  1. I agree, he's in obvious need of treatment and shouldn't be around a car of ANY kind for a very, very long time, not least a race car.

    .32 is obscene, and I'm not even certain that's a strong enough word.

  2. I can't help but wonder if the sponsor is behind keeping him in the car, as in "You leave him in there, or we're not on the hood anymore." As much as I would love to say I'd have pulled him anyway ... alienating a sponsor in this climate could be disastrous.

    That said, I agree wholeheartedly that a race car is the last place this guy needs to be. I can only hope someone or something intervenes in the next week and keeps him out of the car. This is in NASCAR's hands, I think.

  3. During the NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Carolina Nationals, Allen Johnson (PS) was ejected from the meet after blowing a test with minimal numbers Saturday morning after having a Friday night dinner with wine.

    Seriously, NASCAR needs to suspend drivers for DUI. I've called for it for 20 years.

  4. And here I thought our sport was better than football and basketball. Nope. It's all about the money. Really NASCAR and Rusty? These drivers are our children's role models! Get a clue!

  5. Seriously stupid behavior however I am questioning that .32 reading. It would be hard to even stand let alone drive, walk or have the presence of mind to know you were intoxicated to the extent of trying to cover it up. Why did his passenger let him drive??

    Even so, NASCAR should suspend on the basis of the seriousness of this situation until it's sorted out.

  6. @Jeff...guess who owns Pilot.....

  7. Guess these guys never heard of Rob Moroso? .32? Are you kidding me? If he's driving an texting at this level, he's a seasoned drinker. Most people would have trouble walking and finding their car at that BAC.

  8. I like Rusty, but he is not doing what is REQUIRED. I spent many years teaching driver safety and this is the number one problem in the US and other countries. There is no way Arnette should be allowed to drive a race car until he has been clean for an extended time. That is the only way to get his attention. And if he doesn't do it, he can no longer drive either on the road or on the race track!

  9. The man is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law no matter what state, county or local statutes define.

    If you're not his drinking buddy you have no proof that, "This young man has a problem that goes far beyond this accident", this could have been a single incident for all you know, only if there are prior occurrences can you make this statement.

    Are you an Endocrinologist? If not, I wouldn’t start making blanket statements about alcohol’s metabolic rate in something as complicated as the human body. Your anecdotal “research” proves nothing.

    Hey, for all we know Mr. Annett could turn out to be the next Curtiss Turner!

  10. Even in the bizarre occasion that this was his first time, the fact he blew a .32 on his first occasion is indicative of a problem IN AND OF ITSELF. And go to any medical site on the Web and you can find information about lethal alcohol poisoning.

  11. He was not tested by NASCAR so they have no basis for suspension. RWI is taking action, appropriate action, and is backing their driver. If he is tested by NASCAR and they find him to be intoxicated, suspension should be immediate. And he should be tested before he gets into a car.

  12. innocent until proven guilty.

  13. .32 ????? I'd say that's guilty of breaking the law.

  14. I say you should let the man have his day in court before you judge him guilty.

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