06/11/2012 at 11:30 am #176589680
I understand that people who get shit-faced drunk and get behind the wheel of a car are a threat to themselves and everyone around them. Problem is the BAC for garnering a DWI is so low, that ur essentially fucked either way.
On April 17th, I had a Steel Reserve and a Four Loko around 11pm. Alcohol makes me hungry, and not planning ahead, I needed food and there wasn’t much to pick from in my fridge. I made some eggs, about 3 or 4 and yet it didn’t really fill me up (Im also on some medicine which causes me to overeat, Ive put on 80lbs in the last 3 years since I started taking the medication. I probably had about 5 alcoholic beverages in my system and I weighed about 240lbs at the time.
Around 1am, I knew I had to get food, I knew I had enough alcohol in my system to get a DWI, but not enough to drive recklessly and really put the public in harms way (besides no one was driving on the roads at 1am, cept for me and the cop). Really, despite alcohol being in my system, I drove to the best of my ability because I really did not want to get pulled over.
On my way back from the Jack n the Box which was under 2 miles from my house, I got pulled over. It was that time of night, I was the only car on the road, and so the cop got to mark an easy DWI on his monthly arrests report. Unfortunate for me, this was my 2nd.
SO I got my pinky caught in the CCJ system. Im a criminal justice major, between working a job and working on the degree, I am 6 credit hours from earning my Criminal Justice degree. Since I’ve had two arrests for DWI, except for the official title of having a 4 year degree, I may as well done nothing for the last 8 years with my life. I got laid off back in September of 2011. I collect unemployment, but there really is no point in applying for work when you either have to lie to your potential employer and not get the job or get fired down the road for lying on your application, or be honest that you do not have a driver’s license and not get the job anyways. I think a lot of the jobs I held in the past I can no longer work since I now have a criminal record and a questionable driving history.
I hired a really good attorney, he has kept me driving the whole time, and I think he and I know that I want him to make this 2nd DWI charge to be as least invasive as possible. Actually my attorney is House Minority Whip of the legislature of the state that I live in, so he actually pulls more weight than any judge they put me in front of.
I can’t help but feel these laws are really bad. THe 2nd DWI arrest has caused me to have a bad anger problem that I did not have before. I use to find cops one of life’s inconveniences. Now I hate them like the Nazi’s hated the jew’s, I’ve often told friends and family that I hope the police officer that pulled me over gets killed in the line of duty. I was already on medication for depression and anti-psychotic medication, but this DWI has sent me over the edge.
I did a bunch of research to see just how bad of a driver I really was. One of the reasons I took it hard was because in years between 17-23 I was in fact a very bad driver, I drove modified cars at unreasonable speeds on public roads and was a danger to everyone, I averaged about 6 pull overs a year in that car. I had been caught trying to street race a car, and got a Careless and Imprudent which carried a relatively small fine and nothing more. I totaled a car street racing once. I eventually left the modified car scene, bought a 128hp miata and quit getting tickets or getting pulled over ever since and would pride myself in my safe driving.
My brother on the other hand just last winter totaled a car that was 3 weeks old while texting and driving. The cops saw a totaled mess of a car, but the fact that the penalties are so light for that crime, and no one else was affected by it, they told him “sorry about your car, have a nice day” and drove off with nothing more.
I found someone who did a test and they found that driving was significantly impaired if you were texting and driving or reading an email when compared to driving while drunk under the .08 BAC level. and the levels of impairment while using a cellphone and driving, were not even comparable, the drunk driver who at least had his eyes on the road was a vastly superior driver, than someone who was sober and attempting to send a text.
Knowing this information worked to my disadvantage in SATOP (I got lvl 3 which is 50 hours of Outpatient) SATOP was such a humiliating experience. For one to complete the program you can have no alcohol. Thats fine Im not dependent on the substance, but just the notion that I can no longer enjoy something I use to enjoy or face a severe penalty from the program caused me to develop an anger problem. I would throw things, yell about what they were putting me through and break things even if they were of significant value. Eventually one SATOP session it came up that the program was causing me severe mental stress. The head of the program must of gotten frightened and said I could no longer attend any SATOP meetings until he met with my parents, since I live with them. Instead we chose to drop the program altogether since I still had to complete a lot of it, and the program could mandate I spend more hours than what the SATOP evaluation said I had to complete, in case I didn’t take well to the program which I wasn’t. I found it very humiliating when they had me write a letter to my parents, apologizing for my drinking. For one, I’ve never wrecked into anyone or anything while driving a car and under the influence of alcohol because for starters, I don’t get shit faced to the point that I would be a danger to society (weaving uncontrollably or driving on the wrong side of the road) as opposed to illegal to drive hence there is nothing to apologize for since I stood a greater chance of getting mauled by a Polar Bear and a Grizzly Bear than causing a fatal wreck between my house and a fast food restaurant.
I talked with my doctor about getting me some kind of heavy tranquilizer prior to going to SATOP meetings in the future, so I can be there physically but not be attending mentally.
I still have not gone to court for the matter, Im hoping they do not put an interlock device on my car or a SCRAM bracelet, because for starters, since I lost my job, I can not afford such devices. What really ticks me off, is one night of drinking and driving consumes so much of what little income I do get, If I made $100,000 or more a year, except for time invested, the monetary aspect would seem like a minor inconvenience to me, but since Im Unemployed I have no idea where to get money to afford all this mandated stuff they want me to go through, other than find other, not necessarily legal, methods of obtaining money. DWI had been unusual for me since I had pretty much eliminated drinking and driving since the first DWI (I quit going to parties and drinking, I quit going to bars, and usually if I had alcohol in my system and someone asked me to drive, I always turned them down). If I complain about the shit Im going through, people are just as harsh on me, they try telling me to man up, or I was clearly in the wrong, the cop was clearly in the right, and I have no business to complain what Im going through. Ive lost several friends since the DWI between and real-life, just because I am no longer a pleasant person to be around.
I really do not know what to do about my situation, it has made my life a living hell to the point that I have hatred for the people in MADD and police officers in general, for what they are putting me through right now. Sometimes I think the mothers of MADD would prefer it if I offed myself as oppose to living in society and requiring a car for transportation, since their laws have made real life such a nightmare that my only relief from it is when I go to sleep at night..
Also one other thing, that VIP panel that I was forced to sit on in the first one, It felt entirely confrontational to the point that I wanted to prove to the mad mom, that there were several deadly things people could do behind the wheel sober even while not having drunk any alcoholic beverages. When people show a disdain for me because of my crime, I often retort “I hope your kids get killed by a sober driver, just to prove to you that the driver doesn’t have to be drunk to have your family members die in a car accident”
06/11/2012 at 2:24 pm #176596959
I am not sure I know what it is that you are trying to convey through your post. Are you trying to ask a question? If so, please ask it and we can try to help you.
20/11/2012 at 4:04 am #176596976
Let me see if I got this right. You are on anti-depression and anti-psychotic medications AND you were drinking and driving, yet you are mad at the world because YOU screwed up. Well, I for one don’t feel any sympathy for you. You say you are working towards a criminal justice degree, yet you have little respect for the law. And to wish death on an officer that did nothing but enforce the law like he is paid to do,,, well I feel sorry for your family that has to put up with your crap.
I have had 4 DWI’s the last one in 1998. I blame no one but myself and I finally learned my lesson and I no longer drink ANY alcohol and haven’t in many many years now. I do not blame the law for MY mistakes. I knew good and well (as you do) that drinking and driving is against the law. I took my chances and got busted, a few times. Yes, I had a hard head but I didn’t blame the law for none of them. They were MY responsibility, no one elses. I think God I never hurt anyone with my stupid behaviour.
I suggest you do some serious soul searching and find the reason you want to put blame everywhere EXCEPT where the blame belongs.
I hope you learn something positive from this experience.
20/11/2012 at 1:01 pm #176596977
Well said 3yrIID. I remember sitting in the classes with people that had multiple DUI’s, or people that blew a high number, and listening to them blame everyone but themselves. People need to take responsibility for their actions and learn lessons.
25/11/2012 at 7:22 pm #176596981
I think the point of JimmyS1985’s post is that the DUI laws need to be changed. They are much too harsh and have been implemented because of flawed data that was presented. The punishment should fit the crime. From what I read, he knew that he shouldn’t have been driving and has taken responsibility for making that bad decision. Unfortunately, due to the stringent laws he is unable to get a job in his field and feels helpless at this point. In my state they arrest people for DUI when they aren’t driving at all. In DC, they have a zero tolerance policy and criminalize people that are pulled over for a routine traffic violation, like a tail light being out, and arrest them for DUI at a .01 BAC. They are then perceived as criminals, in jeopardy of losing their jobs and face jail time fines. Just a few weeks ago my friend was hit by a distracted driver (mother with two children in the car) that ran a stop sign and totaled her car. The police came to the hospital to test my friend’s blood for alcohol, even though the police officer saw the accident and stated in his report that it was not her fault and there was no avoiding the accident. My friend had two beers with dinner and was above the .05 BAC so they are now charging her with a DUI. This will go into their statistics for alcohol related accidents and it was not the cause. The police need to focus on driving impairment instead of BAC levels, this would be more productive in getting bad drivers off of the road because alcohol affects everyone differently. It would also prevent responsible drinkers from being arrested and those that are not driving or planning to drive. They are now criminalizing people for sitting, sleeping, standing beside their vehicles after drinking and when they pull them over for trivial traffic violations.
Rest assured JimmyS1985, this will pass. Maybe you should think about going into politics or becoming a defense lawyer for DUI offenders. Good luck to you, I am trying to change these laws in my state and will be speaking with the state legislators soon. We have recently legalized marijuana and they want to treat it the same as DUI when people are caught driving after consumption. This presents a huge problem for the state and hopefully when they look at the current laws next year some reason will prevail.
26/11/2012 at 4:53 am #176596986
There should be a zero tolerance for drinking and driving. Even a couple beers do effect ones ability to drive. This has been proven many times. I myself have seen it first hand with a driving simulator. No one can be consistant after a couple beers. They will always make some mistake. Judgement, reactions and common sense all go out the window when one starts drinking. None thought there would be a problem before trying it, but walked away with a different opinion once they did it.
If people don’t want to get in trouble for drinking and driving, don’t drive after drinking anything with alcohol in it. Is a beer with lunch that important, if you have to drive home afterwards? Have a tea or soda and save the beer for when you get home with nowhere to go until the next morning. Get the mindset that you will not drive anytime you have been drinking and stick to it.
It really isn’t worth the risk involved. Not just the risk of getting caught, but also the risk of crashing and hurting or killing somebody.
Now I know there are other things just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Texting for one is just as bad, in a different way, but just as dangerous all the same. If no one else was put at risk, there would be no problem at all. But the road is shared by others that don’t want to be put at risk by someone elses stupidity.
There is no reason anyone should be on the road after drinking, NONE. Public transportation, taxi, a sober friend/family, etc, etc. No one has to be driving after drinking and no one should get away with it. Zero tolerance is a deterrent that does work for a lot of folks. Not everyone, as some are as stupid as I once was. But for many people that enjoy drinking have the sense to know not to drive at all when they have had alcohol. For those that don’t have that good sense and self control, should be arrested and face the stern penalties.
27/11/2012 at 2:24 am #176596987
I can appreciate your opinion. We all make choices and some of them are not good ones, but I do not believe that people should be criminalized for making bad decisions. Many things contribute to negligent driving such as listening to the radio, having a conversation with passengers, screaming children, talking on the phone, texting, drowsiness, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, alcohol and many others. http://www.negligentdriving.com/ Should a zero tolerance policy be enacted for these too? Zero tolerance policies are rigid and ineffective; this has been proven in numerous research studies (mostly in the context behavioral change, which is the point here). To me jail should be reserved for those that commit violent crimes or are so negligent they injure someone or something. The punishment should fit the crime and there are not a one size fits all scenarios for anything, so clearly I do not agree with mandatory minimum sentences either.
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