Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Arrested V: Judged

So, the Saga continues.

Tuesday, November 29 was a snowy, cold, miserable day here in PA.  I awoke early, before dawn, as the dog stuck her paw in my face to indicate she wanted to go out.  (She's more efficient than an alarm clock.)

By the time I finished showering, my wife was awake.  She was coming with me.  As she went through her morning routine, I put on my suit.  My drab suit, not my beloved skirt suit. 

Yes, your Honor?

I drove down to West Chester, the county seat where I live.  It was Judgement Day

the first order of business was finding parking, which wasn't easy.  After circling for a bit, I found a small parking lot that had a couple spaces left.  By then, the snow had become a driving cold rain.  Cold rain and snow.  (Or was it a Cold November Rain?)

In any case, we shared an umbrella and went to the courthouse.  First was checking in with the ARD coordinator.  I signed a pile of papers, and *sigh* turned in my driver's license.  I won't see it again until after Christmas.

Then I had to go to another room and pay my fine and fees. 

Then, I met my Parole officer.

That's right- parole officer.  Technically I was on parole.  She was a stout woman, and no nonsense.  I was not about to mess with her!  I was "Yes ma'am" and "No ma'am."

After that, it was a matter of waiting until my time in court.  Both my wife and I were hungry and one of my favorite pubs was nearby- Kildares.  So we walked through the rain to have lunch there.  My lawyer met us there.

At 1:30, I was in courtroom 16 along with thirty others with the same offense.  First the baliff arrainged us into three groups.  The first group, of which I was part, were the ones who had paid their fees and fines in full.  The second were those who hadn't paid in full, be it a payment plan or whatever.  The third were those who were looking for "continuances"- to have their trial date moved until later, usually so they could raise the money necessary for their fines.

The the judge entered.  It would've been funny if she said "I am the LAW!" or something, but that wasn't likely. 

The judge did the continuances first.  One person didn't show...for the third time.  They issued a bench warrant for her arrest.  Sucks to be her. 

Then it my groups turn.  One by one we stood in front of the judge with our lawyers, and stated our names.  The assistant DA read the charges, the person's BAC number, and that we had applied for ARD.  The judge read the conditions of ARD, and the penalties for messing up.  She then asked if we understood what she's read.  I answered "yes your honor" to all her questions.  Then she said I was admitted to the ARD program and "Good luck."

And it was done.  I was in court maybe fifteen minutes.  Wife, lawyer and I left the court house and parted ways.  Wife drove me home. 

And so it was over.  That fast.  Now I'm a week into my thirty day suspension.  Just 23 days left.  It's been a long week- a week of taxis and waiting for my wife to be ready to take me to work.  Today was a day off my first job, and, as no taxis operate where I live, I'm "telecommuting" for my second job.

I've been conversing with people via text, phone and Facialbook.  I summarized this experience for my TG Forum column. 

Tomorrow will be FOUR months sober.  No problem.  That said, I've determined when and why my first drink will be.  My friend who moved to China will be back for a couple weeks.  On December 29, all my old friends will gather for a long belated wake for my other friend who died a year ago and whose funeral the China friend couldn't attend.  My first drink will be Glenmorangie Scotch, the last of my late friend's bottle, and it will be toasted to his memory.  This gathering will happen at a hotel, and yes, I will be getting a room.

Drinking OR driving, remember?

And so this little drama plays itself out. 

Nearly four months ago it began, no that's not true.  It started so much earlier.  You could say that I've heading for this moment of time.  Ever since i started drinking heavily in college. 

It's all fun and games until there are consequences. 

After my month suspension, I will be on probation for six months.  After that, I have to not get caught drinking or driving for ten years or I'm in deep trouble.

I managed to NOT get caught for over twenty five years before that.

That was then.  This is now.

I'm getting a little too old for that sort of fun and games.

I have too much to lose.

I promise- my next entry will be happier.  After all, in less than a week, I will start HRT.

I can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. Tough time and tough thing to go through, but at least you accepted responsibility for your actions and learned something from it. And no, that is NOT condescension on my part, and that is not a holier-than-though attitude either - just honest respect for the way you are dealing with it.