Thursday, September 27, 2012

Arrested II: Preliminary Hearing

Well that's a better title than "Electric Boogaloo."

Today was my Preliminary Hearing.

(If you haven't read about why I have to go to this, read THIS.  I'll wait.)

Back?  Ok.  Right.  So today was the hearing.

It was raining this morning.  I woke up, showered and put on my suit.  A Drab suit, not my awesome skirt suit. 

Nope, not today

Last weekend, I finally got a haircut to look respectable.  I'd been growing it out so I wouldn't have to wear a wig forever.  It was finally beginning to move a bit, and I could do a small ponytail.

Now it's short again.  Sigh.  It'll grow back.

I drove to the district courthouse, which is about five miles.  It's one of two buildings built in the old steel town where I live that were built in the past fifty years.  Waited in my car listening to the rain. 

My lawyer showed up, and we went in.  the courtroom was small, and maybe fifteen people were there.  The assistant DA was on crutches, and was joking with a cop that her injury story wasn't good enough (she was on crutches.)  Other people, including me, started pitching stories to her (parachute accident, lifting a car off a kid, etc.)

I was second on the docket.  The first person had the same thing as me, and I watched what happened with him.  then I was up.  The arresting officer hadn't arrived yet, but my lawyer had discussed my case with the assistant DA.  As I was VERY respectful, and it was my first offense, etc, they dropped all the summary charges.  Summary charges are like "reckless driving," "crossing over the line," stuff like that.  That saved me thousands in fines.  My lawyer turned in my ARD paperwork.

What if I wore this instead?

I was released "on my own recognisance."  A little more paperwork later, and I was finished.  I was there maybe fifteen minutes.  My lawyer and I were talking outside (the rain stopped) when the officer finally pulled into the parking lot.  He was stuck in traffic.  We spoke briefly, said he had no objections to dropping the summary charges, and he thanked me for my politeness.  I thanked him for his professionalism.  He mentioned that the other case he had today was "in real trouble."  Yikes! 

He had my blood alcohol paperwork.  I had a .106 level.  That's "Tier 2" which means a thirty day suspension.  Among everything else.  So now I know.  I turn in my license on November 27.  So that'll be a fun time.  I'll do my fifty hours of community service before that. 

I have no idea how I'm going to handle going to my two jobs.  I may have to take a leave of absence from one of them.  No buses run between the two locations.

My wife was REALLY mad when I told her.  She has a right to be, but she hasn't been up to this point.  I told her what the possibilities were for punishment.  Yet she seemed to forget them. 

In any case, the next few months are mapped out.  Assuming all goes well, it'll all be behind me on December 28.  By then, it'll be nearly Five months since that night.  And I'm staying sober until then.  It's been 53 days now.  Not that I'm counting.

My next step is to get evaluated by an addiction councelor.  Then it's the community service and classes. 

I've received many kind notes from people giving me encouragement, and I really appreciate them.  I've also heard from several Sisters who've been through this or are going through this.  I appreciate their stories and courage in telling them to me.

More bulletins as events warrant.

So there you have it.  At the risk of sounding preachy: This Sucks.  Really Sucks.  Sucks major league donkey d**k.  It isn't worth it, people.  Get a damn cab.  It's so much safer! 

And cheaper. 


  1. Sophie, I'm glad to hear things went as well as they did. Being without a license for a month will be very difficult but it could have been so much worse.

    Thanks for sharing this difficult experience. I've mostly been very good about not driving after I've had a few drinks but there have been a few times when I "knew" I was fine but, in retrospect, should not have driven. Your experience will help me and others who aren't big drinkers but haven't always been as careful as we should have been. I'm very sorry you had to go through this but I so appreciate your honesty and willingness to write about it.

    Please take care.


  2. I am glad that most of the pretext charges were dropped. It seems that DUI is designed to be as universally punitive as possible.
    You were wise to be as gracious and professional to the police officer as possible. They have a job to do that is often not easy or safe.
    Good luck with the 30 day suspension.

  3. It sucks you had to cut your hair for this, it takes so long to grow out. The good part is that it does grow out but you would be surprised how easy it is to get away with longer hair and still look respectable in the role are playing right now :) Hang in there!