Post

Dui - Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is A Freight Train


The lights at the end of the tunnel..I keep catching glimpses but it's only a mirage...You really can't afford it.

 

5 years ago I moved into a new town a couple hundred miles from my old one. I went out to explore the area and ended up meeting a beautiful girl at a bar.

Over the next year we became serious and I ended up moving in with her. I had a six figure job, a brand new red merc roadster and no bills.

Then the trouble started. The girl was a hardcore drunk. I had a hard time keeping up with her. She wanted to go out every night on the town. Looking back she wanted a drinking buddy not a husband. After realizing this and hearing stories about her as I become familiar with the area I broke it off, moved into a hotel and purchased a house. At the time I traveled a lot. I started seeing her again. I was at home (not often since I traveled) and I enjoyed the company. A week after moving into my new home...

About 4 years ago I was pulled over for suspected speeding and subsequently received a dui at .08 bac. The officer was actually a pretty good guy. He even told me that he didn't think I was drinking and had only asked me to take the breathalyzer to train a new recruit. I had no idea that I was over the legal limit. I was upset at the system, got out of the hospital after my blood test and had the car transported home on a roll back.

That night I told her (party girl) that I was cutting back on the "socializing" and that I wanted to stay home more often. I brushed off the dui and went on with my life, or so I thought.
She agreed. This new lifestyle lasted 3 days. The following weekend she was begging to go out. She explained to me that we had been cooped up at home and that it was nice out and we should put the top down and go to the river.

We had dinner and a few martinis. She was bringing them to me and I obliged. It was my fault for drinking until I couldn't see. 

That night on the way back home I was puled over again for suspected speeding. This time I deserved it. I was dead guilty and hammered. I didn't have an accident or hurt anyone other than myself but I was drank then drove. The moment I saw the sirens I had this inner feeling that my life was going to change and it was going to be worse than I could possibly image. .24 BAC
I was released again from the hospital since I hadn't been convicted of DUI before (only arrested) and had the car sent home on a rollback again.
From the moment of the stop I had this sinking feeling that I could't shake or explain but it was worse than unsettling.
I could complain that neither officer really had any probable cause because they estimated my speed by an "educated guess". I could be upset that I was hauled into the local judges office a week later and forced to hand over my license immediately and was promised that I would receive credit. Guilty even before my first preliminary hearing! I could even complain that I was required to attend classes 15 miles away without any license. I might even get upset by the fact that I was being treated guilty before conviction.
The fact is I was the only one who made the decision to drive although I might argue that I didn't intend to drink and drive. 
Unlike the first episode, I was more than intoxicated. 
I still can say that a .08 bac shouldn't qualify myself as too drunk to operate a vehicle. I do know right from wrong therefore do not condone DUI..
Anyway, I spent just short of $30K in trials , motions, expert witnesses and everything under the sun to fight it. 
In the end it was all in vain. The DA stood up before the preceding started and made the expert witnesses tell the courtroom how much and by whom they were paid. The trial lasted less than an hour. The judge stopped  and turned to me and said "no matter how much you paid for this, it ends now".
I was going at this all alone. My drinking buddy girlfriend turned into a nightmare. Now I wasn't going to take her anywhere. She stayed at my place and drank until she became violent and uncontrollable. I wasn't drinking, which wasn't any fun for her. Eventually I would put her out of the house and have her call a fiend. Finally she decided to leave one night a week or so later when I wouldn't party with her anymore and ended up getting a dui on the way to a bar from my place. At this point I couldn't take it anymore and was looking for peace so that I could concentrate on keeping my job and to eliminate my only reason for drinking. I was forced to circumnavigate and tiptoe around  the system to  keep my job but ultimately I ended up staying at home freaked out for the next 3 years waiting for the outcome. 
I bought a car and registered it in a friends name (with permission) , I rented cars to travel if I had to to avoid detection. I hired taxis when on the road if I could hide it from my colleagues and hired limos when I culodn't out of my own pocket. I could make a giant list of things I did with licenses and everything else I did (that I am not proud of) to keep from being caught at work or pulled over by the cops.
3.5 Years later...
Needless to say, I was found guilty even though the prosecution could not show probable cause at trial. I elected to forgo the second trial that I had already paid for because it was a smoke and mirror defense and I didn't want to **** off the judge any more than I already had. I guess that I came to the realization that due process was a thing that really couldn't be quantified. It was up to the judges to do whatever they felt.
I began to ponder the penalties for these victimless crimes while I listened to my new jail friends about the crimes that they had committed and what their punishment was. I was shocked to learn that ungraded misdemeanor charges could garner stiffer penalties than felony charges...
I spent 6 days in jail with 2 days on an appeal for the first lost trial. At this point I had been without a license for over 3.5 years. I was lucky enough to have the 2nd offense changed to a second - First offense. The Pa supreme court passed a ruling that you couldnt be charged with a subsequent offense until convicted of a previous. Mine were so close in time that I was a rarity with 2 first offenses. This was a fluke and the direct result of my right to speedy trial that was ignored. 700 Days had expired before the prosecution would turn over the discovery package. I completed the highway safety classes and also was evaluated and told that I need only to attend a single alcohol counceling meeting. It could have been 30 more.
1 year ago...
I was laid off. The job loss finally caught up with me. After all of the work, special planning when traveling and everything else I had to sneak around to do keep my job, I finally ended up catching the silver bullet for something other than the DUI's.
I still hadn't heard a word from the Dept of Transportation on how long my suspension was going to be. To this day I still don't know. The court did recommend that I be given credit for my suspension but also made it clear that they do not hand down suspension sentences , it was up to the DOT to do so.
About this time, the ex drinking buddy showed up on my doorstep one day. SHe had heard that I was a hermit and that I was building websites and started a small on line presence. She asked if I would build her a site (for her business) in exchange for some modeling work and that she was going to throw in a custom made quilt for my first godchild.
I took her up on the offer. I built the site and waited for my modeling work and quilt. She would show up, start drinking and nothing would happen. Then the spazzing out started again. My only friend in the area (since I was a prisoner of my home) kept telling me that if I was stupid enough to let her in my house that I should start live broadcasting her episodes nightly and have fun with it on line.
A week later she toted her quilt and some other  tools to complete the job so I let her in. 3 Hours later she freaked, I took her by her arms and put her out on my door step. She stood on the front porch and screamed for me to let her back in and that she wanted her things (that I was gathering up frantically since I was on probation and didn't want any trouble) and banged on the front door. 
I placed her stuff outside and locked the door thinking that I would never have to deal with her again. I started to clean up the mess in my kitchen from the crazy that I had just been punched in the face by who cleared the majority of the dinner that I had prepared onto my floor.
Was I ever so wrong. That moment in time is still frozen in my mind. I had that feeling like I had a few years before when I was arrested for my second DUI.
Minutes later the local law enforcement showed up and knocked at my front door. Why they didnt' use the doorbell I will never know , I assumed it was crazy girl. They came around to the back of my house where the doors were wide open and I was cleaning up the aftermath.
The cops came in, asked me to turn around and put handcuffs on me. I had 6 days to go to complete my probation so that I could move ( I was able to move in a week at that point) and start my life over again. I was now in violation of probation.
 The first officer was a woman. I greeted her and was cut short. She never asked me what happened. She ignored the bruises on my face.
70 days later I was released from jail for a re-sentencing for my first offense dui. This included 3.5 months of increased probation (supervised as the rest of it was) and a new charge of simple assault.
It didnt' matter who was at fault. It didn't matter that the male cops told me that they know who the "10-71" was that I had called them about before. I was charged. It didn't' matter that they had to go along with the police chiefs wife (the arresting officer). What matters is that I am not ARD eligible for the SA charge because of the DUI's (making me ineligible for ARD for them either since I had 2 charges).
I have accepted responsibility for everything that I ever did in my life.I drank and drove and admit it. What I don't accept is the fact that I have been treated like a 3rd class citizen from the moment that I was arrested the first time until this very day. It was my fault I let the crazy in.. I knew better. I could blame it on being lonely at home but in the end it was another poor decision that I made.
Being over 40 and never having been charged for anything other than speeding tickets before has made me reflect on my life and what I have lost and how I feel when I leave my home (what my neighbors think). My neighbors have seen the police here for the DUI's and the crazy girl on a few occasions.
I still can't see the light at the end of the tunnel no matter how hard I squint. I am facing the stigma of a simple assault as well. My ability to fight the charge was severely diminished because of the DUI's. Looking back it seems that if I would have just plead guilty to the DUI's I could have moved on with my life years ago.
So now, I have sold off about 90% of my assets. I am stuck at home and cannot drive let alone get a job since I am over qualified in a poor economy and can't move. My Probation officer knows that my home will likely be turned back over to the bank by the end of the year when my unemployment runs out.
I am stuck in this town until I go to trial for the new charge and cannot move if my appeal for my second DUI is ruled upon. Sleeping on a couch in an empty house that really isn't mine anymore.
My family can't help. I am facing homelessness, destroyed credit and a criminal history. And I still have face probation for the first DUI (if I loose the appeal - Here everything is supervised probation) and more license suspension time. I just learned this week that if I had not appealed my DUI, I would not serve any more probation time. What is the rational for this? Being penalized for exercising my right to an appeal?
All along the laws have been bent by those that enforce them. I have lost all faith in the judicial system.
You could call me a habitual drunk and a wife beater. I think anyone who looked at my rap sheet today might think that. Sadly it just isn't the case but it is a cross to bare from drinking and driving.
I still keep my hopes for wining my appeal. I also hope to beat my case at trial with all of the evidence that I have or to get it reduced to a lesser misdemeanor (from an M2 to M3). Only time will tell. The clock keeps ticking.
The ultimate penalty for me wasn't the jail time or the license suspension. It was losing everything that I worked for for the last 20 years and the supervised probation that keeps me from going anywhere.
You could argue and say that I should have just called the police and I probably should when she started freaking out. I didn't because I didnt' want any more trouble. I had removed her before with the police before I had probation. 
Now, I am not asking for any kind of forgiveness. I still do not agree with the current DUI laws. The fact that bac limits are increased in relation to the increased arrest rates. One could argue that fatalities are coming down because vehicles are safer - not because of stricter DUI law.
One out of 23 people in the US have a misdemeanor and a big chunk of them are DUI's.
I could say that my life has changed forever. Istill do not know how much it will change because the damage isn't done.
 

 
dosDUI dosDUI 41-45 9 Responses Aug 25, 2011

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I feel your pain and it is not fair, the judicial system is f----- up. Your story is so similar to my nightmare of a life. the punishment is ridiculous. dui is treated worse than drug abuse and trafficking and alchohol is legal. one day this era will be talked about like the salem witch trials because it is an atrocity!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can tell you your not alone. I just received my second dui, my first one was 8 years ago but that does not matter. I have a breath alizer unit in my car with a camera, since my dui I have also lost my job. I have been on 2 interviews but not got hired, I had anxiety attacks both times I went in because I know they are going to ask me for my license, which I no longer have. My daughter is turning 16 this month and I had to tell her what happened because of all the equipment in my car and that she could not use my car to take her drivers test. I am humiliated and none of my friends can understand. All they say is it's going to be okay, but you know what it's not ever going to be ok. I never use to drink during the week but every since this happened all I want to do is drink,,,what is this all about??? I had a glass of wine last night and I felt guilty, I also was very very scared because I have to blow into that contraption in my car to drive the next day, I was told that the ignition lock device could blow hot from just one drink the night before. I am broke, none of my "friends" understand and when I try to talk to them about my feelings they just say move on. I know I was wrong and I can honestly say I will never ever have a drink and drive again but I'm not sure I will ever recover from this. My trial date is the end of Sept and I'm a nervous wreck. I can't find a job and I have that ignition lock camera in my car which beeps at me every 5 minutes. uggg. I went out and bought 10 candy machines to make some money for the house, my friends think I'm an idiot but I'm not I'm just broke and way down and need to do something to bring money in for my kids. Nobody understand unless you have been through it and I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

hi

https://www.facebook.com/ex.civilians.1

Please click the link above.
Read our first post and friend us.
We are an organization of fellow DUI offenders fighting to change the laws and insurance regulation which have rendered us unemployable and are ruining our lives.

And that new name X Civilians addresses us as that, more than just DUI offenders. We now have a term for our situation

Yeah, it sucks bad. But it gives you a totally new perspective on life. Just think before all this - a homeless bums, and other "criminals" seemed like the bad guys, now you're just one of them. And so am I. The irony. <br />
Going through this experience is a serious lesson, the stress and the inconvenience makes it impossible to forget about it while you're going through it. However, forgetting and moving on with life is what people do. So make sure to take this time and understand why this happened to you, and how it has really affected you. Also reassess drinking, and if you decide to continue drinking after everything is said and done, remember to plan ahead so that you will never need to drive after. Think of yourself first, & your liberties. There is nothing more important then that - in the end you are the only one who is going through it. Stay strong and focused. :)

I had a "job interview" today with a recruiter. I had to drive 34 miles to it. I checked my online driving record and it is still clear- no record of any dui.<br />
On my way to the interview I passed a man who looked like a vietnam vet who was holding a sign that said "homeless I need food". I completed the interview then stopped and gave the guy all of the money I had in my pocket (it was less than 20$). Maybe he was a criminal who knows but I couldn't stop myself. I told him that I understood and that hopefully he would get things straightened out. He wasn't drunk but he seemed like he was looking past me in a dull gaze. I then Told him that I might be up to the area with my homeless sign in 3 months , then wished him well, got into my car and drove home.<br />
On the way home out in the middle of nowhere was a traffic stop. A police cruiser was following me for 0 miles so I got off the highway being paranoid even though my license isn't technicall suspended in the records.<br />
2 State Police cruisers flagged 8 or so cars into a church parking lot then waived me on. I am not sure why they pulled all of these cars over but I can tell you that my heart was beating harder than it ever had before.<br />
This sucks. There is nothing good about it. I am trying everything that I can do within my power to get on with my life with all of these things hanging over me.<br />
It seems like there is no end in sight. My family is going to help me stay in a room if I become homeless and I hope that someone will hire me at that point. In the dead of winter it will be cold and I won't have internet to talk about it. <br />
I really need a break, just a single break. Anything.

Yeah, it sucks...

I read your post and alI I can say is when it rains it pours, I too have become a hermit, I lost my job due to a DUI and I just don't have the feeling of being around anyone , I'm living off my 401 since I lost my job, since my company had work for me and I could not work because of the lost of license, I could not get unemployment, and since I have been a delivery driver for over 22 years, putting that on an application but applying for something else, just doesn't work, I have come to grips with losing my home and everything I worked for but I have to say that this has left a bad taste in my mouth, have no respect for the law as it stands, yes I know that I was wrong, but to be destroyed for this type of crime is crazy, the day that I got my conditional license, I had paid out something like 1495 dollars and I still had fines to go, well that day I had read in the paper that a guy was fined 1450 dollars and probation for raping two girls ages like 10 & 8, The government is using this crime as an ATM machine, since they cannot make money off the bank robber or the thief, they see us as a cash cow, they do not care that this can turn a person into the ranks of homeless, I will no longer drink, this has been a nightmare for me, I have lost friends, job,self esteem and faith in the system, anyway just wanted to vent a little and to say I hope you make it out alright<br />
<br />
Danny

I hear ya', loud and clear, and I can relate... Bottom line: The government makes laws like DUI to generate revenue. Period. I'd like to know why DUI offenders are the only ones required to drive with "party plates". Ain't that some B.S.? I'd love to see murderers, rapists, thieves, bankrobbers, etc. all have to have license plates indicating what their crime is - why not? That would be fair! Do not get Me wrong, I do not think that we should have the right to drink and drive, I just think that the PUNISHMENT does not fit the crime when it's victimless. But it sure is a good money maker for the state. Lets face it - DUI offenses are more than just ordinary criminal offenses... there's a tremendous amount of politics &amp; money involved in this game. Good luck to you!

Thank you and well written. Your story prompted me to speak out...<br />
I don't drink anymore and if I wanted to I wouldn't being home alone all the time now. I only drank socially to hang out.<br />
Another statistic on the clipboard of dui life, I am. Yeah, It had been tough but I can't say an eye opener. I knew all along that I was hanging on to a woman with serious issues. I shouldn't have followed but lead.<br />
My PO smirks when I discuss with him my situation. He seems to be pleased that not only the jail, fines, career, credit damage but the other consequences (which are more damaging) are a giant hole that is extremely tough to get out of if you ever really do.<br />
Recidivism - now I understand how good people can resort to unlawful activity. I can't say that I will ever but seeing things from this side has opened my eyes up to faults with the system.<br />
I don't think DUI law will ever change- it is a giant money maker that relies on bent statistics. . <br />
I have been learning web design at home but there are a trillion others that are doing it as well and are more advanced than I.<br />
I can only hope for a slight reduction in my penalties so that I can dig in and start rebuilding. It doesn't seem as if anyone (the judicial system) has ever considered the impact of DUI on the average person. They have plenty of classes and education for the convicted to pay for (employing many) but do they really work? Requiring the convicted to attend a class a long distance away who has lost their job and has no license? Where is the rational? Setting someone up for failure I say.<br />
Much like cutting a shoplifters hands off then making them wash dishes to pay back their debt to society.

The system is designed for failure and forcing you to pay every penny they can squeeze out of you. Drunk driving &amp; causing harm or damage is one thing, BUT criminalizing people who have been arrested for a victimless offense based on "what if" is an outrage. Laws are made for the lowest common denominator. That's why they are ridiculous and absurd … Everyone is different, but laws have been made for the "worst case possibility". And so individual cases or being a productive member of society do not matter once you're arrested for a DUI - now you are labeled a menace to society. And since there really is NO real lesson to be learned, nor solution - the system evolved to eagerly label everyone who gets caught, as a problem. Bottom line: The government makes laws like DUI to generate revenue. Period. Good luck to you, one way or another you'll figure out how to survive.

Wow, what a story. Thank you for sharing it and for being so honest. Sounds like you know exactly how wrong in your choice of actions you've been thus far, so I won't lecture you on that, also I have My own wrong choices in the past. Your story is a great example of how when you don't change your actions, you'll keep repeating them... Nothing changes, IF nothing changes. Also it's an example of how true the saying: " Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future" can be. This is not the end of the world, BUT it should serve you as a serious WAKE UP call. <br />
<br />
Well, it is what it is. You can't change the past, but you can always work on your future. Sounds like you have regrets for your actions, living the results of your ignorance and stupidity. Although you have been very irresponsible with your choice of actions, I am not here to condemn you, we all live our life to the best of our knowledge & ability. Words do NOT teach, only experiences do - we live, we learn, and hopefully we can evolve.<br />
<br />
KEEP in mind that while you are still innocent until proven guilty in this country, BUT if you took a breath test or blood test that recorded your blood alcohol content at .08 or above, you WILL be convicted of DUI or OWI depending on what drunk driving is called in your state. SO if you had a BAC above .08, at this time in all 50 states that means you were IN FACT driving under the influence, and you WILL be found guilty. Unless your lawyer can show fault in ways you were arrested, or fault in the way your BAC was obtained.<br />
<br />
Try to find focus, strength and meaning in all of this. Use this time to work on improving yourself, you can still turn it around and start a new life for yourself. You mentioned you know how to design websites and can work from home on the computer, there is money to be made out there - I'm sure you know this. Also consider individual counseling with a professional - they can help you. Get honest with yourself and do some soul searching. Take the time and figure out what your problem is, and I mean this in the most positive way. Excessive alcohol consumption is stupid, it's destructive, and it affects many more people then just you - you know this, now man up and start living like you know you should. <br />
<br />
You can read My story under I Have a Dui category, also - I have a lot more of information in My comments there, as I explore the issue with a few others who are also dealing with the consequences of their actions. I am a STAUNCH critic of the ridiculous DUI laws in regards to punishing victimless offenses, and how the system deals with them in way that do not follow logic. The punishment does not fit the crime. I have My opinions, and I will continue to express them in hopes that someone can learn something from all of this. I know I have. Also I wish more educated, intelligent, productive people, who have never had a criminal record, but now do, would take the time to tell their story and voice their opinions. DUI is actually a common problem these days. Each year, about 1.5 million drivers are arrested for DUI. So you are not alone. The only difference is what will you chose to be from now on...<br />
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Either way, this is the perfect time to take score of who you are and who you want to be known as. It is never too late to change your ways. Be grateful that things didn't get worse, because you know that they could have been much more tragic... Understand that you CAN NOT drink and drive EVER. Nor can you continue to engage yourself in reckless relationships with people who are refusing to wake up & change. Don't just be another statistic, that's easy and certainly is not fun. Make up your mind to retire from drinking, and do it one day at a time. Be selfish. Do it for yourself. In spite of it all, try to stay focused, and strive to learn as much as you can from this, about this and above all about yourself. I wish you best of luck and hope you can find your peace of mind, and the strength to get through this. Take care of yourself.