Former Swim Star Arrested for Drunk Driving in Boca Raton with 8-Year-Old in Vehicle

Drunk driving car accidents in Boca Raton are a risk on our roadways every day. It doesn’t matter who you are. Take the case of Andrew “Andy” Coan, former world record-setting swimmer, who was arrested earlier this month and charged with driving under the influence as well as child neglect.

The 54-year-old Boca man was backing out of a parking spot at the Addison Mizner Elementary School at about 5:00 p.m. with his 8-year-old son in the vehicle with him, according to the Sun Sentinel. A witness called officers and reported that the driver looked like he was under the influence. When officers arrived at the scene, they saw that the driver had a cup of “mixed alcoholic beverages” in the car.

Our Boca Raton car accident attorneys understand that officers reported that the driver had a flushed face, slurred speech, glassy and red eyes as well as a strong smell of alcohol on his breath, all clear signs of intoxication. Officers asked him to step out of the vehicle. A routine sobriety test was conducted, and filmed. Officers say that the driver failed to complete any of the tests. The former swimming star also refused to take an intoxilyzer twice. The driver was later arrested and his son was released to the mother. Officers also notified the Department of Children & Families about the incident.

Coan went to Pine Crest High School and grew up in the Fort Lauderdale area. He was a swimmer for Jack Nelson, Hall of Fame coach. When he was 17-years-old, he set the world record for the 100-meter freestyle and he was also a gold medalist at both national and world championships. Coan was inducted into the Pine Crest Hall of Fame and is also an inductee of the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame.

According to the most recent numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these kinds of drivers and the accidents that they cause are no joke as there were more than 10,225 people killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents in the U.S. in just 2010. These kinds of accidents and these fatalities account for about 30 percent of all accidents on our roadways.

In the state of Florida, there were more than 750 people killed in alcohol-related car accidents during that year. These accidents accounted for more than 30 percent of fatal accidents in our state. In these crashes, about 660 of the fatalities involved accidents in which a driver returned a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading of .08 or higher. There were more than 430 fatalities in which at least one driver returned a BAC of .15 or more. Nationwide, nearly 60 percent of the drivers who were involved in fatal accidents who had been drinking had returned a BAC of .15 or higher.

We’re not only asking you to stay sober behind the wheel, but we’re also asking you to be on the lookout for these dangerous drivers on our roadways. The summer season brings out some of the worst drivers and it’s critical for you to practice safe and alert driving habits to avoid an accident with someone who’s not so responsible.