Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A chat about Driving while Under the Influence

I just read an article on AOL, about Ryan Dunn's deadly car crash and how he was in fact intoxicated at the time of his death. According to the report, his BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) was .196, well over twice the legal limit. That was also what my BAC was when I was arrested for a DUI on September 6th, 2009. When I was pulled over, it was actually only .16, but by the time we got down to the police station, it had jumped up to .19, and I spent the next 7.5 hours in jail.

I haven't talked much about my DUI, most people know the basics, where/when/how, but I've never really went into detail about my experience, so I figured now would be an okay time to share.

September 5th, 2009 was a particularly bad day. My brother had just moved back home from a failed group home experience, and he had just been arrested for trespassing the day before. We were all really stressed and he ended up sneaking a block of cheese and my mom found out about it. Side note: My brother has a disease called Prader-Willi Syndrome and one of the main characteristics of this disease is an insatiable appetite. He will do whatever it takes to get his hands on food. This includes sneaking, stealing, and digging through the trash. I could write a novel on his disease, but I'll save that for later.
Anyway, back to that brother snuck a block of cheese and my mom found out and tried to get it back from him. He became EXTREMELY aggressive with us and I ended up getting physical with him and made him bleed. I cannot explain how horrible I felt after this. The whole situation was just out of control and I deliberately hurt my little brother in order to get cheese away from him. I was just sick. After this incident and him being arrested, and the really shitty stuff going on in my personal life (aka: Isla's dad), I needed to get away. I needed to step out of reality and just take a time out. I needed a drink, or 10!

Alderman's is a little place in Midtown that my friends and I frequently visited...okay, lets be real, I was easily there every night at this point in time. I have never been a huge bar person, but this was the bar that I met Isla's dad at, and this is where my friends were. A lot of good times were had here, and it was my home away from home for almost 5 months. So, I arrive and my friends are already there, I get up to the bar and order a White Russian. By this time, all of our drinks are served in pint glasses. There is no such thing as a small drink for us, and they are VERY strong, to say the least. As the night goes on, someone order's pizza from Domino's (Cheese w/jalapenos and black olives_our fave!!!) The spicier the pizza, the more I drank to cool down. I remember giving my car keys to Lydia to hold on to, because I knew that I would not be okay to drive. She lived 2 blocks away, and the plan was to walk to her house when it was time to leave.
At this point in time, Isla's dad and I are no longer seeing each other. He is back with his wife and I am trying to pretend that I am okay with that. One of the guys I had my eye on, was Jaime. This very attractive guy who would come up to the bar, and was interested in me. It just so happens that on this night, he was there...and so was Isla's dad (Pete). I wanted desperately to be by Pete's side, he was there with his Step-Brother and I was talking to them when Jaime walked in. But I knew that I needed to back off, and move on with my life, so I left to sit next to Jaime. The more I stayed away from Pete, the more I drank. I do remember getting cut off around midnight, and Pete leaving, and me making out with Jaime in the parking lot, and then texting Pete about 300 times (for real), calling him Jaime by mistake and then fighting via text message with Pete.
It is now after closing, and I am still sitting at the bar with my good friend Sarah (Pete's roommate, Mikey's girlfriend) and we are both drunk and just man hating. Poor Mikey is just trying to ignore as much as he can, and avoid the wrath of our man bashing.
By 3am, I am in my car...somehow my keys got magically returned to me. I am texting Lydia's sister, telling her that I am on my way to their apartment (2 blocks away). I am also texting Pete, trying like hell to get him to invite me over. It wasn't working because he was so pissed about all the drunk text messages and me calling him another man's name.

The next thing I remember, I am stopped on the side of the road, sitting in my car, and flashing lights are in my rearview mirror. The officer comes back to my window, and it is now that I realize I have already talked to him because he is handing me back my registration and asking me to get out of the car. I can vividly recall looking all around me, trying to spot anything that will give me any sort of indication as to where I am. All I can tell is that I am on the side of the interstate, but I have no idea where I am.

The officer leads me through a series of field sobriety tests, and I remember thinking to myself "Don't be drunk, don't be drunk". I was polite, and followed all instructions given to me. The officer was extremely nice given my situation, and he tried to make the whole process as painless as possible. He asked me to take a breathalyzer and I did. It read .16 (Shit). He explained to me that he had to take me downtown, and that he would have to handcuff me. He allowed me to sit in the front seat, and explained everything to me as it was happening. I maintained my composure, although I was freaking the F&#K out on the inside. Once he started driving, I soon realized that we had been on 680 (local interstate here). So I had somehow made it over half way home, and I had no recollection of anything from the time I had left the bar, until I was already pulled over.

Down at Douglas County Corrections, my officer (State Trooper actually) held me in a interview room and had to get some information and gave me another breathalyzer. This time it was up to .19. The officer apologized and said that he was hoping that it would have gone down rather than up. (Like I said, he was WAY TOO NICE). Although, I was not prepared for what was in store for me. He then had to transfer me over to OPD (Omaha Police Dept.) and there they took all of my belongings (wallet, credit cards, cell phone, ID). I was interviewed by medical staff, and allowed to make some phone calls (more than 1) but no body would answer. I really, REALLY did not want to call my parents, since they had just bailed my brother out of jail less than 48 hours earlier. I called friends, Pete, any body who's number I could remember, but at 4am, no one really answers their phone. I finally broke down and called my parents. I was told that I was trying to be funny by saying, 'Guess where I am...??' but it didn't go over well. My parents were told that the computers would be down until later that day (meaning around 11am) so there was not much they could do. This did not really sink in at the time, and I was expecting them to be there immediately...So I waited, and waited, and waited. Sitting in this waiting room-like area, watching T.V. and hoping that this was all just a bad dream. During this time, I was "booked", had my picture taken and everything. They put me in a large "cell-like" room with another lady and we nervously chatted and they brought us breakfast. I couldn't eat anything, I was too nervous, and it looked so gross. So I laid down and fell a sleep for a little bit. I was awoken by a female guard who escorted us to another area where we had to trade in our clothes for jail clothes. The whole time I kept thinking, "Why are they wasting their time and clothes" I'm not going to jail. I'm not even supposed to be here. We were then escorted up a flight of stairs and down a hallway, to a cell block, I suppose. It was a locked room, with a bunch of rooms on the outer walls, which were cells. No bars, only windows and a door, but inside were 2 bunk beds and a sink and toilet. There was already a girl laying down on the bottom bunk in my room. She opened her eyes as I walked in, but then closed them. Trying to make the best of the situation, I climbed up on the top bunk and tried to fall a sleep. It wasn't happening. I curled myself up into a ball and started crying. How did I end up here? This is not who I am. All the while, in the not-so-back-of-my-head I kept thinking "How did I make it as far as I did? I am so grateful I didn't hurt anyone...or myself". The idea of getting behind the wheel and endangering other people's lives made me sick. I had to get up, I couldn't lay there and just do nothing. I walked back out to the main common room, to the telephones, but they wouldn't work. I had no idea where my parents were, or if they were even coming. There was a T.V. with chairs surrounding it, I remember sitting down and pulling my knees up to my face, while trying to hold back the tears. I was so scared.

It seemed like I was there for actuality it was only 7.5 hours, most of which was spent in holding while my alcohol wore off. Not too long after I curled up in the chair, my name was called. I was told to gather up my stuff and clean my bunk. I asked no questions, I grabbed that bottle of sanitizer and hauled ass up those stairs to my cell. I gathered up my sheets that I had taken out and grabbed my bag of "jail goodies" and got my ass back down to the guard's desk. There me and another girl waited until a guard escorted us out and back downstairs. There I was given my clothes back, and finally my belongings. They released me, and pointed me in the direction of the exit. Then it hit me, beyond those double doors, was my father...waiting for me. As soon as I saw him, tears came pouring out. I hugged him and I knew that even though I had disappointed him (beyond belief) he was still there to bail me out_and get my car out of repo. In the light of day, everything seemed different. My dress was vomit stained, I had no idea where my purse was...I had pretty much no memory of what had happened from midnight til 3 am, and that scared the crap out of me.

I have not, nor will not EVER get that drunk again! I thank God constantly for protecting not only me that night, but all the other drivers that I could have encountered along the way. Even to this day, just thinking about what COULD HAVE happened, makes me sick to my stomach. It was a hard lesson learned...and a very expensive one, at that.

PLEASE, pretty please, DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*A little over a week later, I found out that I was pregnant. I was 6 weeks along when I got my DUI and I was on probation up until I was 7.5 months pregnant.

**This is all that I can remember, I'm sure there is much more, but it's also a quarter to 3am and I am ready to go to bed.

No comments:

Post a Comment