Monday, August 13, 2012

Arrested.


This hasn’t been a good week.

I started this blog to write about how I feel and to try to make sense of my life.  With this blog, you get Sophie.  But there are events this week I thought about not discussing. There ARE things I don’t discuss in this blog, like my daughter.  I don’t think that is anyone’s business.  And some of the events of this week are no one’s business.


Know what?  Hell with it.  This is my fifth attempt at this entry.  So I’ll just come out with it. 


I was arrested for DUI after being out at Laptop Lounge as Sophie last Saturday night. August 4.  Spare me the outrage, really.  I know.  I’m a former paramedic and have seen the damage drunk drivers do.  I should know better.  And I will pay the price for my stupidity.  Add to that, Wednesday I had my wife’s car and it broke down on my way to work.  I had to walk the last couple miles, and find a ride to my second job.

Seems that lately my life has been in a tailspin and the ground is coming up fast.


So, here’s the whole story.


Saturday, August 4 was my dear friend Lisa’s first birthday.  She lives in Baltimore but wanted to celebrate by coming up to the Philly area.  She wanted to shop in the King of Prussia mall with her wife, daughter, and mother of said daughter.  She was kind enough to invite me to dinner with them.  That night was also a Laptop Lounge. 

So I asked my wife if I could do this, some negotiations followed, and she allowed it.  Yay!  Bonus Sophie night!

Lisa offered me use of her room to change in, so I did.  I wore a new blouse with a black skirt and did my own makeup.  Don’t ask me how, but I managed to get lipstick on my blouse… on my right breast.  When they all returned from shopping, Lisa hit it with makeup remover, but it didn’t dry well. 

At Winberies.  Stain photo shopped out.


It was HOT in the room, as the AC wasn’t working.  I decided to take a ride to the ATM to get money for the night.  I walked out the door into the hotel parking lot and ran into Daddy with three teen girls, all exiting a convertible.  I’m guessing the girls were all under sixteen.  They all looked at me and laughed.

“OMG look at THAT guy!”

“Ewwww!”

“How gross!”


Yeah, that sure helped my mood.

So, I returned and all of us left for Winberies for dinner.  I drove (as I was the only one who knew where it was) and took the long route through Valley Forge Park, which none of them had ever seen before.  From there, it was dinner, where we all had a good time.

After dinner, we went to Shangrila, a nearby Japanese place that used to be the home of Laptop Lounge until everyone got tired of the bartenders overcharging some people.  There, we had a drink and took pictures.  Then it was off to Blue Pacific and the Laptop!  Lisa and company went back to the room to change into something less conservative, and I went straight there. 


It was miniskirt night, but I dressed in a longer skirt just to be different.  Many girls were already there.  I fell into conversation with a few. 

Eventually, Lisa and company showed up.  A good time was had by all.  Everyone danced and drank and talked.  Of course there were many pictures taken. 



By the end of the entire night, I had eight drinks in seven hours.  Plus food.  Plus eight pints of water.  Then I went back to hotel room, showered, packed, and hit the road.

Normally, I stop at Wawa for a quick sandwich as I’m usually hungry after eating little and wearing a corset all night.  But not that night.  I told my wife I’d be home a little early.

About ten minutes later, I realized I was being followed and pulled into a housing development.  And was followed.  I pulled over, and so did the person behind me.  I exited my car, and my glasses fogged up.  I took them off and saw the person exiting their vehicle.  A police officer.

I did all the tests he asked, and was completely respectful.  “Yes, sir.”  “No, sir.”  He checked me with the breathalyzer.  Then he asked me to turn around and told me I was being arrested.

I sat in the back of his car as he and a second officer searched mine.  I told him he’d find my Sophie stuff.  He didn’t blink. 

From there, we went to the hospital for a blood test which I agreed to do.  (If you refuse in PA, it’s an automatic one year license suspension.)  Then I was taken to the police station for fingerprints and photographs.  While there, the officer said that I was the most cooperative and respectful person he’d picked up ever.  He said he’d recommend me for ARD.  More on that in a bit.  He never told me the result of the breathalyzer.

After all that, he took me home.  I called my wife from the hospital so she was up waiting for me.  She signed for me at 3:30 AM.  She was not happy.



At 7 AM she woke me up, and we went to get my car.  An hour later, she, her mother, and my daughter left for a three day trip to Virginia.  I stayed home to work and watch the house.  And feed the dog.


Monday night, I came home from work, changed, put on makeup, and drove my wife’s car into the city to Tavern on Camac, the former site of Monday Night T-Girls.  After a bit, there were four of us.  I related the above story.  My dear friend Jone recommended a lawyer to me, who I called the next day.  She’s one of us, and I’d met her previously.

Wednesday morning I was still driving my wife’s car.  It broke down on my way to work.  I walked the last mile and a half.  Could’ve been worse- if it broke down Monday night while I was Sophie…


Friday I received my summons.  I still don’t know my blood alcohol level.

I mentioned ARD.  In PA, you have an option, as a first time offender, to plead guilty and apply for ARD.  It’s a class about alcohol and driving.  Not everyone who applies gets in.  The police officer has to recommend you.  If you’re an ass to the officer, they won’t do it.  I’m glad I gave the officer his due respect!

So there it is.  I’m going to plead guilty and apply for ARD.  There will be a fine, community service, and probably a license suspension.  All depends on my level.  I won’t know that for a couple weeks yet. 

I have been kicking myself for over a week.  I also resolved that until this is behind me- COMPLETELY behind me, I will not touch alcohol.  At all. 

It’s been nine days.

I can be very hard headed.  Sometimes I need to be clubbed over the head to learn a lesson.  I’ve driven after drinking several times.  There are times I shouldn’t have.  I’ve been playing Russian Roulette.  I’m glad I’m the ONLY one who loses this one.  Thank God! 

I’ve learned this lesson.  Learned it well.  Because of this, I will be in court on my birthday.  I will not be able to attend SCC, as the fine will empty my savings.  I will miss at least one month at Renaissance and Laptop.

So there you have it.  To the point.  Not a fun read, is it?  Sorry folks.  I need to get my head around this, and writing is how I do it.  Besides, confession is good for the soul. 

From here, I take my punishment and move on with my life.  And live with the a-hole looking back at me in the mirror. 

As my readers may recall, I didn’t name myself.  Karen from Femme Fever said I should be “Sophie” and I have been since.  Sophie means “wisdom.”  Maybe it’s time I started living up to my name.



9 comments:

  1. sophie...wow. that's just a really tough weekend. keep your head up. i understand what you mean about living with some wisdom and sometimes needing a shake. we all do at times and sometimes the damage from the shake is a lot more than we expect. try not to get too down on yourself and learn from what happened. i'm sure you weren't planning to drink that much and next time you'll be much more careful. it will work out though.

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  2. Sophie,

    I am so glad that you reacted with respect and civility to the arresting officer. It sounds like you got one of the good ones. I know things seem absolutely awful right now and while the truth is that it ain't good, it could have been so much worse. I really wish I could give you a giant hug, but unfortunately, my arms don't reach for 12,000 miles. It's a bummer going that you can't go to SCC, but when one of the alternatives could have been your loved ones seeing you in jail, I think you'll realize that you caught a break during an unfortunate episode. *squeeze*

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  3. Hi Sophie, my heart goes out to you. The only comfort in all of this is that "This too shall pass." I admire your bravery in blogging about this. I don't think many of us would and what you have written is hopefully instructional to many of us. Those of us who are regular drinkers develop a tolerance and unfortunately, when we drink we begin to become impaired even before we feel any effects of alcohol. Buzzed driving is definately drunk driving, but regular drinkers may not feel a thing and be impaired when driving. You don't have to have a "drinking problem" for this to happen.

    Getting a DUI does not make someone a bad person. Good people get them left and right. There are so many things that play in to this. One's health, the amount of rest one has had, how much one has had to eat, how long it's been since the last drink, whether you have had one of many different medications.

    From your description, you made many of the right moves before driving. You paced yourself, you ate, you drank plenty of water and you waited a period of time before hitting the road. That is in itself a lesson for all of us. Even when we use all the common sense rules for NOT being impaired when we drive, it still may not be enough.

    I wish you all the best and I hope that this all turns out well for you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  4. You are still a good and caring person. Sometimes good people do bad things or in your case; things badly. Good people learn from their mistakes, special people share their experiences with others in attempt to help.
    Hugs
    Charlotte

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  5. I am so sorry to hear about your DUI. It sounds like you did almost everything right (especially being respectful in your dealings with the police officer). It also sounds like you paced yourself quite well - I would not have guessed that 8 drinks over 7 hours would have been a problem, but it's an important lesson.

    Please don't beat yourself up over this. We all make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them and move forward. Thank you for sharing your story.

    I hope your good behavior results in the best possible outcome from this incident.

    Please take care and let us know what happens.

    All the best.

    Linda

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  6. Sophie,
    I am sorry to hear about the DUI. Did the police officer tell you why he pulled you over in the first place? Were you weaving, speeding, whatever...or just driving late at night in the wrong place at the wrong time?

    Be thankful that you had changed and showered. My last speeding ticket was on a rare night when I went out while dressed. I was wearing a rather dressy coral colored lace dress that showed a bit of leg, black pumps and my red wig. I thought that I was driving safely when I saw the lights come on. I could hardly believe that I was written up for doing a mere 41 in a 30 MPH zone. If I was not dressed I think that I would have been able to talk the cop into a warning rather than a ticket. When he decided to write me up I pulled off my wig and told him he had a lot of nerve writing me up for only 41 mph. I knew I was safe on the DUI since I only had 1 drink. I had been at Georgie's in Asbury and the speed limit in the entire village is 30 MPH. The cop and I ended up in a friendly conversation with both of us chuckling at the situation...but I still got the ticket.

    You should also be thankful that your wife knew you were out and about. My wife did not know I was out while dressed. I quickly paid the fine by mail and thought that the incident was history until we got a letter with the receipt in the mail and I had to explain the ticket.

    We all learn from our experiences. My point in telling my tale is that for the first several months after the event I was sore, mad at myself, mad a the cop...just in general ticked off. Now, a few years later, I can appreciate the educational and humerous aspects of being a guy in a dress stopped for speeding. Some day this DUI mess will be behind you and it will be reduced to a educational and humorous anecdote. For now lets hope that the BAC level is low since that will impact the resolution.

    Regards,
    Pat

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  7. I applaud you for the courage to write this post and I applaud you for being able to keep calm in what was a difficult time. You also do us all a service, as you do for yourself, in sharing. We all make mistakes and poor decisions at various points in our lives. To err is human. It is the act of learning from our mistakes which makes us all the more stronger. Thank You so much for sharing and please keep us posted as you move past this, so that we may continue to celebrate in sharing the the journey of your life as you allow us on here to do and to be a part of!

    Hugs!

    Christen

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  8. My friend, not a damn thing I can possibly say to make a sucky week like that feel any better. I'm so sorry!

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