Here’s How Much Drinking It Would Take to Reach the Breathalyzer Level of the Bishop Charged in a Fatal Hit-and-Run


Bishop Heather Cook of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is being held on $2.5 million bond for allegedly running down and killing cyclist Thomas Palermo two days after Christmas.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced on Friday that Cook is being charged with a slew of criminal offenses that could land her in jail for up to 21 years. She is charged with driving drunk, texting while driving, hitting the cyclist who later died, and leaving the scene of the accident.

When Cook was eventually taken into custody she blew a .22 on the Breathalyzer, almost three times the legal limit for intoxication. The amount of alcohol one must drink in a single hour to score that number on the Breathalyzer is quite high.

According to the website, in order for a woman weighing 140 pounds to score a .22 on the Breathalyzer, in the hour before the test she has to consume slightly more than a bottle of wine, or a quarter of a fifth of whiskey, or seven beers. Cook’s weight is unknown.

According to the state’s attorney, Cook wasn’t tested until well after the accident. She drove away for 30 minutes, ending up at home, only then to return to the scene and then only later to be tested. According to, alcohol leaves the system at half a unit per hour, so her blood alcohol level was possibly higher than the .22 she is charged with.

According to, Cook’s alleged blood alcohol content was closer to “possible death” at .32 than “legally intoxicated” at .10.