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Category Archives: News and Events

DUI, Part II: Investigation

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.

Dui_screen_capThe 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.

uber_logoThe Jax Beer Guy has partnered with the UBER car service in Jacksonville. Because of this partnership, you can receive a $20 credit for your first ride by simply using the promo code “l2jkr” when you register for UBER on your smartphone.

Click HERE to sign up now!

Interested in a career driving for Uber? Click here to learn how to make it happen!

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in News and Events

 

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DUI: The story I can now tell

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. Now that the ordeal is over, I want to tell 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.

Dui_screen_capIn an instant everything changed. One moment the street was clear and the lights ahead were green and in the next a car was in front of me and the light was red. That moment, the moment when I took my eyes of the road because a text came across the screen of my phone, lasted less than two seconds, but it would define my life for nearly a year.

It was May 16, 2014 and I was enjoying my slight celebrity at the annual Jacksonville Craft & Import Beer Festival. The event is hosted every year at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena by a magazine I write for and a beer distributer I have ties with.

As the Jax Beer Guy, my role was to be an ambassador and advocate for craft beer and craft beer culture. I spoke with guests extolling the wonders of craft beer, pressed flesh with visitors and represented myself, my blog and the magazine I write for. I also visited with beer company representatives, some old friends and some new and filled in pouring beer at their tables when someone needed a break.

I also tasted beer in two to three-ounce pours throughout the evening. As I walked around, speaking with guests, I stopped at tables to try a sample of new beers and old favorites. I did not drink much. I was not dulled, my speech was not slurred. But, over the course of five hours, the beer in my system accumulated. And, because I ate over the entire time of the event, the absorption of alcohol into my system was slowed.

So, when the event ended, I did not feel that I had had too much to drink. I did not think twice about getting into my truck and embarking on the short 1.5 mile trip home. Little did I know that I would not reach home for more than 24 hours after leaving the festival.

As I turned on to Bay Street I drove past the Maxwell House coffee factory and slowed as a police officer pulled out of the underground garage for the Jacksonville Sheriff Department. I slowed to give the officer room ahead of me and proceeded towards home.

Just a couple of blocks later, the screen on my phone lit up and, after checking to see that the lights were green ahead of me, looked down to see the text that had caught my attention.

And then, my life changed.

I looked back up and suddenly, the light that I had thought was green was actually red and the patrol car was in front of me. I slammed on the breaks, but it was too late. I crashed into the police vehicle causing the trunk of the car to buckle upward.

I looked up again and the light that I had thought was the green light was actually one of the green lane indicator lights. Several years ago, the City of Jacksonville had lights installed above the lanes of bay Street to indicate travel lanes. The lanes were made to be reversible so that traffic from Jaguar games could be routed in on all four lanes before the game and reversed after the game. The lights are situated mid-block and, from the higher perspective of my truck, were situated slightly below the intersection signal lights. Further, the lights on Bay Street are sequenced in such a manner that multiple green lights – including the lane marker lights – are visible down the street at the same time.

In seconds the reality of the situation set in; I had just rear-ended a police car coming home from a beer festival, my clothes smelled like beer from pouring and I was wearing a shirt with my name embroidered above one pocket and ‘Jax Beer Guy’ above the other. I was in trouble and life was about to become very complicated.

Read part II of this series here.

uber_logoThe Jax Beer Guy has partnered with the UBER car service in Jacksonville. Because of this partnership, you can receive a $20 credit for your first ride by simply using the promo code “l2jkr” when you register for UBER on your smartphone.

Click HERE to sign up now!

Interested in a career driving for Uber? Click here to learn how to make it happen!

 
19 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2015 in News and Events

 

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Beer news and events segment new on ‘I Know Jax’

A few weeks ago, Joe Talentino the producer, director and host of ‘I Know Jax’ came to me with an idea: how about a beer news and events segment? The focus, as is the shows, would be on local events and happenings in the world of craft beer. Well, that was right up my alley, so we shot the pilot below last week.

If you have an event that includes a craft beer component. Drop send me a message here or an email at http://www.JaxBeerGuy.com so I can include it on my calendar  and maybe put it on the air on ‘I Know Jax.’

And be sure to tune in to ‘I Know Jax’ on CW17 Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. and midnight.

 
 

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