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Posted by on in BAIID

raccoon, BAIID, internet hoax, Chicago criminal defense lawyerWhat do you get when you cross an intoxicated Navy sailor, an ignition interlock device, and raccoon? Well, if you believe everything you read on the internet, you get a creative way to start a car and very angry furry passenger. Although highly entertaining, it turns out that the story, like so many others in recent years, was the result of an active imagination, subsequently overshared and under-verified.  Various news outlets have since confirmed the viral account as a hoax, albeit with no small measure of amusement.

All From a Single Image

The story began with a post on the picture-sharing site Imgur, which allegedly showed an incident report originating at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California. According to the report, a Navy petty officer left a bar and needed to start his personal vehicle which was equipped with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). Too drunk to meet the device’s requirements, he supposedly captured a raccoon rummaging in a trashcan nearby, and squeezed its body to provide the breath sample needed by the BAIID to start the car, leaving the animal unconscious. The man, the story continued, left the raccoon in the vehicle and began driving. A short time later, the animal regained consciousness and attacked the driver, causing an accident that ended up with the vehicle in an in-ground swimming pool.

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