Yes, you read that title correctly. And yes, this was the buzz on the internet last week when a police report of a San Diego naval officer who used a raccoon to beat the ignition interlock device that was installed on his vehicle was posted on Imgur.com.
According to the police report, which was originally reported on by the Telegraph and CBS Detroit, the naval officer, who was stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, was attempting to drive home after drinking in town.
An ignition interlock device prevented the serviceman from starting his vehicle. As the report described, “[The] suspect was too intoxicated to successfully start the vehicle so he went into the park where he captured a raccoon rummaging in a trash receptacle.”
The report went on to say that the “individual utilized the raccoon to blow into the interlock system successfully, but the raccoon became unconscious from being squeezed and was discarded on the floorboard of the vehicle until a short time later when the raccoon regained consciousness and began to attack the suspect while driving, causing the vehicle to crash into a residential fence. The vehicle came to a complete stop in an inground [sic] swimming pool. The suspect sustained numerous scratches and bite marks to the hands, face, stomach, and arms.”
As humorous as it might be to envision a naval officer squeezing a raccoon into an ignition interlock device, unfortunately it isn’t a true story.
Public affairs officer for Camp Pendleton, Lt. Abigail Dredge told The Huffington Post that the incident number on the report did not match the numbering system used by the base.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, base officials confirmed that no breathalyzer incidents involving raccoons were found.
The Telegraph updated its story to confirm that the report was an internet hoax.
While it might seem like a good idea at the time, when you’re drunk and desperate to start your vehicle, squeezing a raccoon into an ignition interlock device will not will not successfully bypass the system. Aside from running the risk of being attacked by the raccoon, attempting to bypass an IID is illegal.