Well, today I spent the last 100.00 of the three or four (or five) grand of my DUI for an online Advanced Driver Improvement course I was required to complete as part of the million things I had to do for the state to dismiss the case. I am happy to state that after this my case is dismissed by the State, confirmed today by my Corrections Officer. I told my sister this, and her response was “Are you going to have a drink to celebrate?” Riiiight. Not likely.
I will never drink and drive again. So strange. In all these classes I have had to take (advanced driver improvement, DUI courses, MADD victim impact courses), I learned that fifty percent of people with a DUI get back behind the wheel drunk and get caught again. After what I have been thru with this, I cant imagine anybody doing this – they absolutely drill into your head the consequences – you leave the classes in tears. But those are the statistics. Crazy.
Just FYI, if I WAS to decide to drink and drive again, the consequences are pretty severe. Think 10 grand and 5 years on a restricted license after you go thru a year with no license at all. And prosecution. No jump thru a million hoops and they will dismiss the case – I’ll spend up to a year in jail and have a record and further instead of a first degree misdemeanor, it’s a felony. I would have a record and an impossible time finding a job. Even a first degree misdemeanor carries consequences with employment. I am lucky to be in one of the states with a pre-trial diversion program, where you can work off the charges and the state will dismiss. A lot of states don’t have this. If you do decide to drink and drive, you should at least become familiar with exactly what the consequences are in your state should you get caught. DUI laws are NOT universal for all states.
While I resented having to take Addictions Counseling Sessions, they were helpful in making me realize some things. Mainly, it helped me to realize that when I stopped drinking for three months, I found myself at times wanting to. There were, well, gaps in my life. Drinking had become so habit forming, couple on Friday nights, couple relaxing after a hard workout in the garden, etc, etc, that when I stopped for those three months, I found myself at times without something to do!! A gap, so to say. It made me realize that, in a way, my life revolved around a bottle.
I also learned the proper way to drink is like one every hour and a half, and to drink faster is binge drinking and bad for your health and drinking to get drunk. I still binge drink when I drink, because I DO drink to get drunk and enjoy it. Oh well. I mean – a drug is a drug – there isn’t any other reason for taking it. But I don’t drive. And I don’t get drunk more than once minimum every three months since the DUI in 2010.
Do I miss going out to bars? Well, yea. I enjoy social interaction and letting loose at a club. If I drink, I’ve been doing it at home. There is a nice campground that I go to though, every Halloween, and binge for like three days lol. And if I want to go to a club, I can always bus there and taxi to club hop and get home. No biggy, just a little expensive is all, taxi’s aren’t cheap. But, as they constantly pointed out to me in the 16 hour, at location DUI course I had to take, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper in the long run than getting caught.
I remember a time when I got absolutely bombed at a friends and then drove home in the pouring rain. I was so bombed I was seeing double. In the pouring rain. I don’t often get this drunk – in fact, very rarely. I hold my alcohol well. In counseling I learned that this is alcohol tolerance you build up over the years. You can actually be legally bombed off your ass and be perfectly fine to drive. However, God forbid if you are in an accident and kill someone. That’s manslaughter whether you are feeling the affects or not. Because the alcohol is there. So this time I am driving home crazy bombed in an absolute downpour seeing double. 40 miles. I woke up absolutely horrified that I had done this. I said a prayer if it was to happen again, let me get caught. That is how upset I was with myself.
I guess Someone heard me. All in all, it could have been so much worse. So, on a final note, I guess I would like to say I’m grateful for the intervention Lord, and thanks for watching out for me. 🙂