Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Drunk Driving Scan

We all know that drunk driving is wrong. I don't need to be lectured on that. However, sometimes fate hands you choice and sometimes you make the wrong choice. You just became thankful that you don't suffer the consequences of the bad decision.

So, in my years of drinking I have gotten drunk a number of times, too many for me to be proud. I have been fortunate to be living in the city whenever I have been full over drunk. So a little bit of staggering got me to where I needed to go. I have always made it a point to never drink much where a car is involved in taking me home.

Even with my cautious ways I have legally been drunk and behind the wheel three times in my life. It wasn't my intent I can assure you. It happened I'm ashamed yet lucky.

The first time it happened, I has a young pup of 18. this was back when there wasn't zero tolerance for DUI for those under the age of 21. It was the summer I had graduated high school. My friend and I went to a party thrown by a classmate's parents. It was a fun party, I drank about three beers and enjoying myself when a pizza faced douche bag named Tom decided I was having too much fun and sprayed water all over me. I was actually still in a good mood after getting sprayed but Pizza Faced Douche Bag Tom made a scene about me going "crazy" in my retaliation to get back at him. This got me thrown out of the party.

My friend didn't drink and knew I got hosed figuratively as well as literally. He drove my car to his place. I was hurt that I got thrown out of the party especially since I had my last drink. So anyway we get to his place when I realized I needed to get back home myself. At this point of my life I was totally paranoid about any driving involving drinking. It was only the third or fourth time I had drank in my life. So, I had to make a decision, leave the car at my friend's place and walk the fifteen blocks to my place. The problem was that I had done that before when I got drunk the second or third time I got drunk, and my mother gave me a lot of crap for doing what I thought was a responsible thing to do.

So, I took a chance. I was alert, I was in a small neighborhood and the only streets from my friend's place to mine were suburban neighborhood streets where I can pull over and pretend I'm going in my house if trouble arises. It was clear sailing until I approached the top of Chatham Road. I nearly had a heart attack when I caught sight of a police car who had pulled over a traffic violator.

Now, Flanders NJ is one of those communities that goes into overkill when it comes to law enforcement. A town with practically no crime, five cops for every crime committed. This would make me Public Enemy #1 if I get pulled over. I quickly maneuvered my car to go one more block to Brewster Place. I drove down Brewster with my heart racing. Oh man, just get me down Brewster safely without incident. After getting down Brewster I made my way up the bottom of Chatham Road where the house was. I parked in the driveway, exhaled hard and took about five minutes to relax. I didn't drink at all for the rest of the summer. It would not be until I attended SVA in the city when I would have my next drink. NYC would be the setting of my most prolific drinking for the next four years. No Driving? Heavy Drinking, Baby. My drinking experiences would make for another blog entry.

It would be another twelve years before I would do this again. I lived for five years in NYC and NJC and had no car. I moved to Seattle where I had no car for the first three years. I moved in with my GATT after that and though she had a car, I didn't use it much. Plus when I lived in Federal Way, I didn't feel the need to drink much.

In 1998 , I went to my job's Christmas party at a bowling alley near where we lived in Federal Way, WA. We had an unwritten rule. whoever Christmas party it was, it was the other person's responsibility to drive home.

Since my GATT was not a heavy drinker I was safe. She would usually announce her intentions to get drunk at her Christmas parties and at my brother's wedding. She was a cute drunk, fun to be with, not obnoxious. I liked being sober and walking through her sobering.

Anyway....this was MY Christmas party, so it was my turn to get drunk, and I did it with flare. The first two beers were free, wine was free all night and I joined my co-workers with a few shots of I forgot what. I was quite tipsy, beyond tipsy. Meanwhile I noticed my GATT didn't have too much wine. I counted three.

We were there for four hours when my GATT said she wanted to go home. I was having a good time but I thought ooooookay, whatever.

Anyway my GATT hands me the keys to her car. She said she was too drunk to drive.

Are you kidding? I was furious! Why didn't she let me know this before I had drunk too much. I pleaded with her to reconsider but it was to no avail. I had at least ten drinks and mixed it to boot. I tried stalling, saying long good byes to all my co-workers including those I didn't like. I was drinking a lot of Coke when I did this. This made me pee, I went to the bathroom. My GATT was getting impatient so it was time for me to get us home.

I was still infuriated when we got to the car, my blood was boiling. We were only 6 miles from our house but they were tricky roads. I would have walked home if I was by myself but my GATT was in no0 shape to do that. So we drove off in the brownmobile and headed home.

My intense anger kept me alert. My fear kept me awake, my karma kept the cops away. We got home and despite my anger with her, we had ourselves a good night, My GATT I guess was trying to make it up to me.

The most recent episode of my driving drunk happened a few weeks ago. My Aunt threw a party for her 70th birthday party. I brought my own six pack just in case it would be like a lame rich girl's wedding in which the best beer was Heineken. I wanted to buy a seasonal Sam Adams. Irish Red was the brew I wanted but it had bee replaced with the latest seasonal, Double Bock. It sounded yummy so I gave it a try.

My aunt's party was fun. I flirted with a vivacious woman girl who my aunt thought I should stay away from. I'm not sure my Aunt is a good judge of character. She's the only one who unequivocally thought my most recent girlfriend was good for me. Two peas in a pod. Anyway, along with flirting I was enjoying the company of my cousin, talking up the virtues of good beer like Sam Adams. He has three kids were were having a blast. They are nice kids. I had four beers when I decided I had enough. Legally, I am able to consume about 6 average beers before I'm in legal trouble, but if I'm driving I stop at 3 or 4.

I stuck around for about another two hours. I gather the leftover beers my dad bought, good stuff like Guinness, Smithwicks, and Harp It was getting late, I had to get up at 3 in the morning to go to work. I figured I weigh 190 pounds, drank 4 beers in 4 hours, took a two hour break with massive consumption of water. I thought I was safe.

I drove home okay despite the fact it takes almost an hour to get from Spring Lake Heights to Atlantic Highlands. Man, for such a small state, everything seems so far away in New Jersey. I was tired but I got home okay, went to sleep, worked at TSA, visited my family for Easter, slept, worked at TSA, napped, worked at UPS, and finally settled down to have myself a beer on Monday night. I took a Double Bock out of the fridge. I took a few sips when I tasted an intensity I didn't notice two nights before. I looked at the bottle and was startled by the alcohol content. 8.8%!

Holy mackerel! That is like double the content of your average beer! So, I had 4 Double Bocks which is like having 8 beers! That would have made me legally drunk if I had been pulled over, I would have gone to jail for being legal.

Damn I'm scum.

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