Video: Oblivious Drunk Relaxes in Burning Car

By Will Godfrey 12/30/11

A cop has trouble convincing a driver of the wisdom of leaving his burning car.

"He never realized...that his car went up in
flames," said the officer.
Photo via

A driver who was allegedly so drunk that he didn't realize his car had burst into flames was saved by a fearless police officer yesterday morning. Alan Edward Blake, 32, was found sitting in his parked Pontiac Bonneville in Grand Rapids, Michigan at 4:18 am. Smoke was billowing from the engine and sleepless neighbors said it had been revving for an hour. Veteran cop Eric Hornbacher approached and ordered him out, before memorably exclaiming: “Turn around and look. Your car is burning. Are you that drunk that you did not realize your car was on fire and that you were sitting in a burning car?” Police believe Blake fell asleep with his foot on the gas, causing the engine to race and catch fire. He spent the night in jail and faces a DUI charge. His lucky escape is a timely warning, as ER doctors brace themselves for the inevitable human cost of widespread drunk driving this New Year's Eve.

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.