Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Ripple Effect of Repercussions - DUI Part 2

This week is part 2 of our guest blogger. I urge you to consider their message and ask yourself: How do we avoid this ripple? Last week at our Greek Leadership Retreat several students talked about how we were encouraging drunk driving as a result of the IFC and Panhellenic Community Standards about bus protocols. Is that really true? Is there more we think about from this story?

So that was my experience that night. Let me tell you about my friends’. It still baffles me how people can have a 6th sense when something isn’t right. The last thing I told my roommate was “I’ll see you at the bar in 30.” She never heard from me. I never showed up. See, this could have been like any other night where my phone will die or I’ll end up going somewhere else just by being swayed by a different crowd. But something was different and she knew it.
So not only did I ruin my own night, I ruined a handful of friends’ nights as well. Apparently they assembled in a search and rescue mission once they all collaborated and realized I was MIA. They called the campus to see if my car had come in, they called hospitals, they drove around mission beach looking for a car wreck I could potentially be in, they even went to Hillcrest which was the last place I had reported being.
The afternoon I came home was one of the most emotional ones I’ve had in a while. About 2PM I returned to my house. Once my roommates heard the door slam they ran to the living room. When they saw me (looking like absolute hell) the three of us burst into tears, hysterically crying. I had no idea what to expect of them when I returned, but once they explained how they rallied the previous night to find me I couldn’t help but feel so guilty causing them so much grief. They then revealed that when they didn’t hear back early the next morning they had assumed I was dead by some unfortunate incident.
I considered jail to be the worst thing that could have happened to me until I read the police report. The section titled Probable Cause for intoxicated driving had the following checked: straddling center or lane marker, appearing to be drunk, almost striking object or vehicle, swerving, drifting, and stopping inappropriately. That was the worst part of the experience. Seeing in print how I almost killed myself, missing parked cars and almost hitting the center divider or even worse, another person. So in retrospect, I am so grateful for being arrested. It made me think how much farther I could have gone before I would have potentially ended someone else’s life or even mine.  
I don’t think I’ve cried so hard in my entire life. I don’t think it will ever wear off with being a sensitive subject. It was such a shameful experience that I never ever want to share with anyone – I want to take it to my grave as best I can, so that I don’t get that passed judgment from others. This will probably just be another DUI sob story to you that won’t differential itself from the next, but I sincerely hope it does. If you gain anything from reading my experience I hope it is something along the lines of how dangerous and stupid it is to think you’re invincible and if you push the limit long enough it will finally come back around, cuff you and throw you in jail. And that ending is only if you’re lucky – for those who are not as fortunate, that was their last joy ride and they won’t see the light of another day.

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