It started at 5 p.m. on Monday, police say, when officers arrested a person who was driving drunk in a McDonald’s drive-thru in Queensbury, New York.
Police allege that the man, 48-year-old Mark T. Meringolo, had a .21 percent blood alcohol content — almost three times the legal limit in the state, according to the Post Star. He has a prior DWI conviction.
Multiple people complained about the way Meringolo was driving on Warren Street, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office told the Times Union, and officers found his black Toyota Tundra in the drive-thru.
They arrested him and charged him with felony aggravated DWI, the Times Union wrote.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
But that wasn’t the end of Meringolo’s alleged drunken saga, police say.
At 7 p.m. the same day, officers received a call about a 4-year-old girl in the area who was left home alone, police say. Officers decided to check in on the little girl, police alleged to CBS6, and Meringolo drove into a curb outside the residence while cops were there.
The man smelled like alcohol, police say, and failed multiple field sobriety tests. He blew a .17 percent blood alcohol content at the Law Enforcement Center in Fort Edward and was given another charge of felony DWI, according to CBS6. The girl is in the custody of a family member.
So how did he get back to his car after the first arrest? According to The Post Star, McDonald’s employees told police that they could keep Meringolo’s car in the parking lot instead of towing it, like they do for other people arrested for DWIs. The man took a taxi from the sheriff’s office after his first arrest, police say, and told the driver that he wanted to go home.
Instead, he seemed to have directed the taxi to his parked car, which he then drove home, police told The Post Star. Meringolo faces an additional charge of endangering the welfare of a child. Police allege that during his second arrest of the day, Meringolo claimed he was returning from McDonald’s because he left to get dinner for the 4-year-old girl.
The 48-year-old is out of jail after posting bail on Thursday.
In another case, one Minnesota man probably holds a record in the state, although it isn’t one many strive to achieve — he’s been caught driving while drunk 28 times, police say. Danny Lee Bettcher was caught driving under the influence of alcohol in October after an off-duty officer allegedly saw him drinking in a VFW.
“I am way over, take me to jail,” Bettcher allegedly said after refusing to do a field sobriety test.
And police allege that another New York man convicted of a DWI showed up drunk to a court-ordered meeting where he would hear from those who have been affected by drunken driving. David Kilmer, a 51-year-old from Fishkill, is accused of having a BAC three times the legal limit.
Police say they told him to get a ride home, and Kilmer assured them that he did not drive himself. But then they allegedly saw the 51-year-old get into his Chevrolet pickup truck and drive away. Officers pulled him over and arrested him.
In one more example, Illinois cops say they arrested “one of the worst DUI offenders in the United States” after finding Tasha Lynn Schleicher, a 41-year-old from Minnesota, with an open bottle of whiskey in the passenger seat of her car.
Schleicher, a mother of 11, couldn’t tell officers why she was in Illinois, police say, and had earlier tried to fill her gas tank with kerosene instead of gasoline. She faces two counts of felony aggravated drunken driving, two counts of misdemeanor drunken driving, driving without insurance, driving while license revoked (for DUI) and transportation of open alcohol container while driving.