Our Drunken State (Real Life)

As most of us probably remember, and hold this to be a lifetime code, drinking and driving is both bad and against the law.  I remember back when I was a kid I saw my father take a sip of water or some type of soft drink and, me being a kid, calling him out on it as he was driving our family car.  Him, and my mother, both kindly explained that the drinking and driving law only pertains to alcoholic beverages.  You know, me being a kid, as we all do, took the law, and things our parents say literally as drinking anything while driving was the wrong thing to do.  From the time my parents explained the law to me, and as I got older and read up on it, I took it as a life code not to drink and drive or be drunk as I am driving.  Now, we all know the law on this and every state in this God fearing country has some type of law pertaining to drinking and driving.  Each state has their own penalties for violating such law, but all in all it is not safe, not good, and morally wrong.

Somewhere along our life time people have either forgotten about the law on drinking and driving, don’t care, keep thinking it won’t happen to me, I’ve done it several times and never got caught, or have had bad influence from either friends or family.  I have been in law enforcement for quite sometime and seen things and behavior that could have easily been avoided if they had just stopped consuming alcohol before leaving the bar or house party, or the smart thing to do is having a designated driver.  I’ve arrested numerous violators of this law and just recently had another one who told me that he wasn’t drunk!  Really? I can smell the alcohol coming off your breath as you talk to me at this accident scene.  Majority of my DUI arrest are from vehicle accidents where the drunk driver either misjudged a turn, nearly had a head on collision, or just being insane by driving at night with no headlights on.  Thank God, none of my accident scenes, that involve drunk drivers, had drivers or passengers in the vehicles involved in the accident transported to the hospital.  At least at this time I can’t remember any.

We probably all know that friend or did know someone who tempted this and drove home while under the influence.  As you become an adult you would think that some people would wise up or make smarter decisions to live a healthy and peaceful life.  There are so many photographs and police reports out there that have reasons or examples of why you shouldn’t drink and drive, but knuckleheads do it anyway.  Cops are out here patrolling the streets 24/7 and over time learn the significant signs of when they might have or is about to make contact with a drunk driver.  Many people have died as a result of bad attitude and poor judgment on their part daring their life and others.  Dealing with a drunk pedestrian is a whole lot different than dealing with someone who has a thousand pound weapon at their disposable.  I don’t know what it would take for our society to begin to realize that this behavior has to stop and that this type of risking their life is not worth it.  As I said before the most recent DUI arrest I had came from, yet another traffic accident, where one car almost had a head on collision with another.  Thankful the driver of the other car had quick reaction time to at least keep from hitting the car head on, but wasn’t able to avoid disabling damage.  Immediately after the accident the drunk driver attempted to keep going, but for some reason stopped his vehicle or the vehicle just couldn’t continue.  The driver of the other vehicle, which I think was off of the adrenaline, got out of his car and ran after the drunk driver on foot.  Once he caught the guy he walked him back to my patrol car and alerted me that the driver that hit him was drunk.

Once the investigation of the accident was over I ended up locking up the drunk driver, processed him, and let him go with some friends hours later.  Both vehicles had to be towed from the accident scene, which from the damage I saw one of the cars is probably totaled.  Another victim and innocent bystander just trying to do the right thing, but got involved in something that they didn’t plan on.  So please do the right thing and do not drink and drive as you may get yourself killed or kill someone else.  We’re supposed to be grown ups and adults!  Let’s act like it!  For some they never seem to grow up and think that it is fun and exciting to go out completely jacked up and operate the wheel of a car.  It’s all fun and games until you find yourself flying through the windshield, being charged with numerous traffic tickets, paying your lawyers, or worse of all being charged with murder or manslaughter.  Hundreds of people go out here and drive on America’s roads not thinking of the consequences that families might be forever changed or damaged because of their idiotic choices.  Nothing wrong with having a drink or going to the bar or house party and drinking yourself to satisfaction, but it changes the game when you turn that ignition key.

It is really bothersome when you have a driver behind the wheel who is drunk and the passenger or passengers in the car are SOBER!  What the hell are you thinking?!  That right there makes no sense to me whatsoever, but people continue to do so on a regular basis.  I’ve had only one person say to the judge in court that he thanks me for saving his life and stopping him because he could have killed someone.  Whether he meant that statement or not the fact remains that he mentioned it, on court record, and that he thanks me for stopping him when I did.  The sad thing is that I know as I continue into my career that I will have many more drunk drivers, in jacked up situations, and I will have to throw the book at them.  I am in no way saying that if you do drink and drive that you are necessarily a bad or horrible person, but your decision in doing such behavior is stupid and not well absorbed by possibly your friends, family, and most definitely the police.  Remember your actions or decisions in anything you do will ultimately have some type of consequence down the road, whether good or bad.  I can only hope that for most people as we continue through life that the consequences are good and rewarding.  We are humans and we make bad decisions and mistakes, but this is something that we can easily not make a mistake on and have our lives changed forever in the worse way.


1 Comment

Filed under On The Job, REAL-LIFE STORIES

One response to “Our Drunken State (Real Life)

  1. Meg

    I absolutely agree with you here! We are adults and we need to act like it. Im not perfect by any means, but when it comes to drinking and driving- People need to look at the consequences of their actions, before they make them. Learn from others mistakes, and try not to repeat them! Thank you Mr. Franklin for your absolute insight to this ongoing problem, in human stupidity.

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