An extremely intoxicated Petaluma driver plowed into the front of a Petaluma butcher shop early Monday, causing extensive damage, according to police.
A preliminary test showed driver Jason Lopez, 22, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.2 percent, Sgt. Andrew Urton said. That level is more than two times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Several people called 911 starting at 1:38 a.m., reporting the crash into Thistle Meats in the 100 block of Petaluma Boulevard North. Officers found a pickup sitting several feet inside the business. It smashed through the display window and hit a weight-bearing beam, causing the front of the building to collapse.
There was major damage to the truck and the building, which has the butcher shop on the ground floor and an apartment on a second floor. A city building inspector has red-tagged the structure, making it uninhabitable until repairs are made, according to Urton.
No one was injured in the crash, Urton said.
As officers spoke to the driver they smelled alcohol and conducted sobriety tests, which the man failed. He was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and was booked into the Sonoma County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.
“I was shocked to see the damage,” business and building owner Molly Best said Monday afternoon. “It’s pretty horrific, especially when you put so much love and energy into it.”
Best, a Petaluma resident, said it didn’t take long for customers to begin to check in with her, offering support. “The outpouring from the community has been ridiculous.”
She’s been planning the upcoming, two-year anniversary of Thistle Meats, her small butcher shop, which uses animals from area ranches. Hours after the crash she was working with an engineer and contractor as well as making short-term plans to set up shop outside the building to keep the business open. She hoped to be open by Wednesday.
“We’re going to roll with it, be creative,” Best said.