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Driver charged with DWI after SUV hits utility pole

Posted March 9, 2009

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— Raleigh police charged a man with driving while impaired after his SUV hit a utility pole on Oberlin Road, knocking out power to a two-block area early Monday.

Benjamin Sherwood Barnes, 48, of 1200-G Lakefront Drive, was going 50 mph in a 2001 GMC SUV north on Oberlin around 1:30 a.m., according to the wreck report. The SUV went off the road, struck a utility pole at Colonial Drive and then flipped over.

Barnes suffered minor injuries and was taken to WakeMed in Raleigh.

Police said that Barnes lost control of his vehicle due to alcohol impairment and his speed. The posted speed limit in that area is 35 mph.

Homes and businesses around the wreck site were without power for about three hours after Progress Energy crews began repairs around 5 a.m.

Results of alcohol tests for Barnes were pending.

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  • boogerhead1257 Mar 9, 2009

    I don't get how they "suspect" the person was inebriated. You either are or you aren't.

  • FE Mar 9, 2009

    I guess "inebriated" is now the socially acceptable substitute for "drunk" ??