Several Milwaukee residents say they’re lucky to be alive after a drunk driver caused a chain-reaction accident that took out five vehicles earlier in December.

According to police, the accident occurred after the 45-year-old driver, while travelling at 70 to 80 mph, collided with another vehicle attempting to change lanes. Several other cars were also involved in the accident, having little to no time to stop after the first accident occurred. One of the drivers was injured during the crash and was taken to Froedtert Hospital to be treated.

The 45-year-old driver told the police that he had only consumed one beer before getting behind the wheel, but his 0.15 BAC told a different story and he was immediately arrested for driving while intoxicated and causing injury in the serious drunk driving accident.

The man was charged with one count of third-offense operating while intoxicated and causing injury. If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison and upwards of $10,000 in fines.

Many people in the community wonder, however, how he was allowed to get back onto the roads at all. According to his arrest record, he had previously been convicted of OWI in June 2011 and in 2008. Upon his second conviction, his license was suspended for a year and an ignition interlock device was required to be installed on his vehicle. Officers point out though that the device was never installed, leading some critics to point out that a mistake like this could have cost people their lives.

Source: patch.com, “Man Charged with Causing 5-Car Crash While Intoxicated,” Joe Petrie, Dec. 15, 2012