Last year my life was forever changed. I was arrested for DUI as I was driving home from a beer festival. As a long-time beer blogger and advocate of knowing when to say when, this was devastating. Over the next few weeks, I will be telling my story in hopes that my experience will resonate with my readers and deter them from taking any chances when their ability to drive after having a few beers may be impaired.
Read Part I of this series here.
The evening was warm and clear with a slight breeze coming from the river. The type of evening that could be called a Chamber of Conference night. It was a perfect. But, in just an instant, the perfect evening was filled with sirens coming from every direction. Flashing lights began to appear from the police building just over a block behind me and from the other three directions of the intersection. The dark, quiet intersection had suddenly been transformed into a noisy, confusing tableau of flashing lights and piercing sounds.
Confusion, shock and a sudden awareness that life had just become very complicated set in. Along with these a flood of emotions washed over me. My first instinct was to get out of the truck and go to the police vehicle, but since I decided that might be a bad idea. I did not know what the reaction of the officer would be and thought it better to wait for other officers to tell me what to do.
Within seconds an officer was at the window of my truck requesting my driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. In my still shocked state, I fumbled through my wallet and extracted the requested documentation. The officer looked over the cards and told me to stay put. I tried to ask a question, but before I could frame it, he was gone.
All the activity going on around me was frightening, intimidating and disorienting. I needed to hear a friendly voice, someone who would help calm me down and tell me everything was going to be alright whether it really would be or not. I called my best friend; my wife.
“Baby,” I sobbed. “I am in trouble.”
The short conversation that followed was full of apologies from me and assurances from her. She assured me, as I had hoped, that it would be alright. She told me she would make the necessary phone calls and find out what needed to be done. She tried to sooth my by then uncontrolled sobbing. Finally, I regained control of myself. I told my wife I would call again as soon as I was able and that I loved her. I made a resolution to be cooperative, truthful and forthright with the police.
As I hung up the phone a female officer came to my car. She introduced herself as the officer that would conduct the crash investigation and told me to stay put. What I did not know at the time is that both officers I had talked to were evaluating me, and that the female officer had requested a DUI officer to further evaluate me.
After a few moments, she returned to my truck window and asked me to step out. Then the question that would shape my world for over nine months was asked.
“Mr. Wisdom,” she queried. “Have you been drinking this evening?”
“I’m not going to lie,” I said. “Yes, I have.”
Read part III of this series here.
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