Report: Woman blew .19 after almost driving car off Ravenel Bridge ramp

Published: Jul. 31, 2013 at 7:52 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2013 at 5:32 PM EDT
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Julia Johnson (Source: CCDC)
Julia Johnson (Source: CCDC)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The woman who almost drove her car off the Ravenel Bridge off-ramp late Tuesday was drunk and driving too fast, authorities say.

Charleston Police Department officers arrested 41-year-old Julia Rowland Johnson and charged her with driving under the influence and driving too fast for conditions.

According to an incident report, officers responded to the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge off-ramp to the Crosstown just before midnight Tuesday to find a black Subaru hanging partially over the edge.

A witness told officers he saw the driver of the Subaru speed past him just before the collision. Police said Johnson lost control of her speeding car, causing the rear passenger side of the car to strike the retaining wall on her right. The impact caused the back end of her car to slide up on top of the wall.

Police said Johnson's car slid about 40 to 50 yards along the wall before coming to a rest. During the slide, police said the Subaru struck two SCDOT light poles, knocking them off their bases and causing them to plummet to the ground below.

The witness said he stopped to help Johnson when he saw the crash. He said he tried to help Johnson get out of the vehicle while she asked him to "help her with getting her vehicle down off the wall."

The witness told officers he explained to her several times that would not be possible.

When police spoke to Johnson, they said her eyes were bloodshot and looked "glazed." She told officers she had been at dinner with friends in Mt. Pleasant before the collision, where she drank four Greyhounds, a mixed drink using vodka and grapefruit juice.

She also said she was driving too fast and should not have been driving.

After failing several field-sobriety tests, officers said they took a breath sample, which determined a blood alcohol content of .19.  The legal limit in South Carolina is .08.

Officers then arrested Johnson and took her to the Charleston County Detention Center for booking.

She was issued a $2,452 bond during a hearing Wednesday.

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