Thursday, February 16, 2012

Don’t Have Your Twenty-First Be Your Twenty-Last: Part 1

This week we have a guest writer, one of our own... One who is willing to share with others so they learn and grow.
I am deeply appreciative of their message.

It’s a frightening thought to think back that that 21st birthday shot could have been my last. It goes back to the feeling “I’m invincible, nothing can touch me. I know it happens to everyone else, but not me – I’m exempt from the laws of nature and law enforcement.”
How terribly wrong I was, and what a slap in the face to find out this way. Ironic how I would pass that moment of silent judgment when people would tell me they got a DUI… that reaction of “what an idiot, how could you be so dumb to get yourself in that situation?” It wasn’t until my night of arrest that I realized I was that idiot – but more so.

The friends I know that have gotten arrested for drinking and driving were only slightly over the limit (being .08 BAC), and got pulled over for a miscellaneous reason and then got breathalized, usually showing up between .09 and .12 BAC. How could I ever pass judgment again after my incident, after I blew a solid .24 BAC aka a quarter of my entire body’s blood supply was tequila swimming steady to intensely impair my judgment.
What’s so frightening is I knew I was intoxicated but convinced only minorly so – thinking I was coherent enough to get behind the wheel and make it to my next destination of the night. What upset me most during the incident was being pulled over and questioned. My defenses went up, and I was not cooperative with the police that had be do multiple tests; fighting that I was a good student with a job and highly involved on campus and that this was a fluke incident and that jail was not an option.
There is no string of words that can do justice in explaining the arrested experience. Being handcuffed and thrown in the back of a cop car, there is no difference between you and the guy who shoots the owner of the corner gas station to rob the place, there is no difference between that initial clasp of your hands in metal behind your back and thrown into the gated back seat of the cop car. You are now a criminal, a threat to society and a danger to the innocent people around you because of your recklessness.
Then came arriving to the women’s county jail. If there was one thing I can tell you about the people who work there – they don’t give a crap about you. If you died in the cell their only thought would be “alright, one down, one less to take care of.” You are absolutely nothing to them, they view you as the scum of the earth and won’t even respond when you try to talk to them. I remember being thrown around and slammed into walls like they were moving boxes of storage that they didn’t care about dinging up on its journey to the unit. I was in my cell for about five hours – the coldest most unfortunate and miserable experience I could tell you. Hard freezing floors and nothing to try to shake off the potential hypothermia I felt I was getting. Best part: they strip you down, no shoes, no jacket, nothing. Second best part? I went out that night in a tank top and shorts. Hell seemed like a better place than here, just for the fact it was warm.
By 5 AM they finally let me out and into the waiting room with all the other girls who had gotten arrested – some were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, some were so grimy I could smell them a mile away. That lovely phone call to my mom around 5:30 was probably something she wished had been a dream, “Mom, its me… I got arrested for a DUI and am in jail.”
I finally left around 2pm, missing classes and fearful of having to explain to the teachers who took attendance where I had maxed out my absences and my grade could be lowered, “I have an excuse of why I couldn’t make it to class… although it’s not the best one.”

To Be Continued...

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