First Encounter With The Law: In Court Dealing With Dwi Charge

I was feeling pretty depressed today after hearing that my currently livelihood is probably not possible anymore and I may lose my job (apparently I was unable to renew a particular liscence need to work in my professsion). I was looking around for support groups and came accross this site, people sharing their circumstances has made me want to as well.

First, to all the people that are feeling so low on themselves that they feel that suicide is a better option than dealing with this system, please don't. Don't let this ****** system beat you. Live on and prove that everyone make mistakes, most of which learn from them and become better people for it.

Second, I completely acknowledge I made a poor decision to drink how and when I did on the day I was arrested. I am wrong and I should not nescessarily go unpunished for it, I just do not feel the punishment fits the crime.

Now to my story, I am a young father and husband (mid-twenties) who supports his family and I believe myself to be a good person in general. This is my first true criminal offense outside of a single traffic ticket. I had an event which I was traveling with some friends (some in town and some from out of town). I decided to rent a vehicle to make it easier for all of us to get to the event and we would just rent a hotel in the area to stay the weekend (the event was in a different city a few hours away).

So we get into town just in time for the beginning of the event. A couple of us decided to get some drinks (this was mid day maybe 1 or 2pm) and have a good time at the venue. I had a few too many drinks and decided that I needed to rest up and sober up. I had a large amount of water and then procede to go take a nap in the rental vehicle that we had brought down. HORRIBLE MISTAKE. Just, ugh, if I only would have known how ambiguous and vauge the law is about drinking and driving I would have slept on the STREET. I would have been better off by far probably.

The owner of the home in front of which I am parked (and had been for at least 2 hours or so by the times on the police report when they arrested me) apparently came to me in the vehicle (which I had running for the air conditioning, I was in a southern state in the middle of july, needless to say it was extremely hot that day) and attempted to wake me up. I did not respond quickly enough (I was asleep mind) and decided to contact the amblance. I do not have any ill will versus the owner of the home. They were concerned for my well being and that is a luxury that is rarely afforded by most these days. Anyways, he (home owner) is on the phone and for some reason, I am finally stirred awake to the sound of an ambulance coming around the corner. I remove the keys from the vehicle and greet the ambulance as they arrive. I decline any assistance which is when I am approached by the police which followed behind the ambulance.

The police begin to question me, I offered up the truth about the situation (mistake number one) and consented to the field sobriety test (mistake number two). It is a shame that the system is basically built so that if you are honest then they build a case AGAINST you with your own words. Note to anyone who reads this BEFORE they have a run in with the law on a DWI, just inform the police that you would not like to take any tests without your lawyer present. Same with answering any questions. The police ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS AND ARE NOT LOOKING OUT FOR YOUR BEST INTEREST. YOU have to look out for your best interest. This means be polite but firm, "No officer I would not like to answer any questions or take any tests without my lawyer present". Comply with EVERYTHING ELSE that they ask within common sense and reason if it isn't going to be used against you.

They decide that I was DWI and arrested me. They attempted to contact some of my friends to come get the rental vehicle so that they would not have to impound it but that did not work out unfortantely. I am also thankful for them at least attempting that it WOULD have saved me close to 700 dollars overall after the rental charges and inpound fee not to mention displacing friends of mine who came with me and had NO clue as to what was going on with me during the first few hours of my arrest. I get out of jail on Sunday and begin damage control, figuring out how to get everyone home along with myself. We work that out, I had my license temporarly suspended and was given a paper license.

I hire a lawyer at the suggestion of internet research, friends and wife. I am still paying him off but, he presented the idea that it didn't look so good for me. That took me back a bit, it was disheartening to hear. Last month, he informed me that the prosocutor offered me 18 months probation, 9 months with a breathing device in my car (which I share with my wife and I have NO clue how that is going to work if this actually does happen) and to keep my lisence. There are programs to negate doing the probation where I am but, I want to at least TRY to barter with the prosocutor because I was not driving, nor did I have any intent to do so.

I have found a case where man was in a VERY similar situation as myself and his case was dismissed because of "intent". I am going to show my lawyer that case and see what research he can do, who knows maybe I actually could get my case dismissed. I am not going to get my hopes up though, that is not how the law is built for DWI. It is built to CHURN out fines and maybe even catch people in a process that they will repeat offend (depression leads to drinking, worry, doubt, guilt, all of those can make indivudals already acostomed to drinking more likely to do so).

I am planning on moving to another state soon to begin a new life, go to school and ris above all of this crap. I deserve better than then this and so does my family more importantly. I do not drink in occasions where I can not find a way home other than driving. It is NOT worth it, not even SLIGHTLY. I spent.....$10 dollars in drinks that fateful day earlier this year and it looks like it may cost me 3 to 4 thousand dollars at the end of of all of this. That is not including insurance hikes, lost employment opportunities....hell just the collateral damage in general. Who can really say how much it would really cost me?

The cookie cutter approach that is taken with dealing with alcohol and drivers is inappopriate for the nature of the beast. My crime was drinking too much, probably in a public place (maybe public intoxication AT WORST). I don't deserve all of this. I didn't drive and SMASH my car into anyone. I didn't damage any property. When did we start punishing people for POTENTIAL things that could happen versus things that they ACTUALLY did? If the state needs more money, just raise the damn taxes like you are going to anyways, haha! I am glad I could find one laugh out of all of this, while writing that sentence.

I call my supervisor this morning in a few hours and find out if I still have a job. Nerve wracking right? I just want to make it through this month for my little one who DESERVES a good christmas, none of this is her fault. She should not have to suffer because of her father's single bonehead moment and a system that ***** on people any opportunity that it gets. If you are still reading this, I appreciate the fact you took time to read my story and if I had anything to impart as advice:

- DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE, EVEN A LITTLE. Who cares if it is a state that has zero tolerence or it is the .08 marker? Don't even bother with it. If you drank in public find a ride.

- Don't answer anything you think would incriminate you until you speak to a lawyer. You may end up going to jail (definitely lol) but at least you gave yourself "wiggle room" to argue your position. It seems as soon as the police have their side of the information that incriminates you, your positon matters very little anymore. Don't say anything.

- Don't take the field sobriety test! Some people can't do that sober, it has to be administered correctly to get accurate results, don't leave your future up to chance with a cop that doesn't give two ***** about you at the end of the day.

- I will come back and update this but, truthfully, I hope I can't give you this answer because I will have been able to beat my charge.

Annoymousplease Annoymousplease
2 Responses Nov 29, 2012

You never updated :( Hope it got dismissed!

Thanks for sharing your story and excellent advice regarding the field sobriety test. When I received my first and last DUI back in March, I performed and passed the mobility part of the field sobriety test. However, the officer stated that I failed the HGN. I found this to be pretty convenient for the officer because it was the only test administered out of view of the dash camera. The minute you consent to the field sobriety test, you will lose!!! Thanks again for sharing.