Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said Richard Wesson slammed into a utility pole off South Boulevard near Hebron Street around 2:30 a.m. Friday. He was taken to the hospital and later charged with DWI and reckless driving.
Duke Energy crews spent more than nine hours putting up two new poles and wiring.
For much of the time, power was shut off to nearby homes and businesses. A Channel 9 crew spotted plastic bags over the pumps at a nearby gas station and learned people weren't able to buy tickets for the light rail.
The busy stretch of South Boulevard was closed to drivers in both directions.
"All the traffic was backed up. The school buses were a little late this morning but eventually traffic went through," said resident Julius Harris.
Drivers had little or no access to car dealerships. Anthony Barreiro, the general manager at Keith Hawthorne Hyundai, said his team used cellphones and iPads to reach out to customers and lure them in. During a typical Friday, the dealership sells 10 or more cars. Barreiro said the crash cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales.
“Kind of air out of the tire there a little bit, but we're trying to push forward," he said.
Steven Lawrence lives nearby and spent his morning in the dark. He was frustrated about the inconvenience but more upset at what police said led to it all.
"People need to start being conscious and stop driving drunk. You know if you had one too many drinks, go home, take a cab. It's too many lives out here being taken over dumb decisions," Lawrence said.
The jail website lists the driver, Richard Wesson's address as Melbourne, Fla. He was booked on a $1,500 bond.