Friday, January 6, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate the DUI

The best DUI story I ever heard was about a brother of a guy I knew pretty well. His brother had a real problem. He was literally destroying himself with alcohol. The pattern was always the same. He would emerge from rehab. He would get out and secure a good paying sales job. It was always easy for him to get that job because he was so charismatic, but at the same time having to reinvent yourself every 6 months had to be pretty tiresome. No matter how fucked up he was, he could always sell. In that one little way, he was lucky.

He was living in the Washington DC area, and after about his usual six months of working, he had become the #1 sales guy for the company. He also had just fallen off the wagon. He wasn’t a guy that drank a few too many beers. This was a guy that hit the vodka as soon as he got up in the morning on the way to sloppy violent blackouts. I think we can all agree that when you are drinking in the shower on a Tuesday morning, things may have gotten away from you a little bit.

This particular Tuesday morning he had a couple sales calls scheduled. He blew those off and went to a bar in town instead where he proceeded to get completely shitfaced. At some point he decided to leave the bar and drive somewhere. Within a few minutes, he had been pulled over and arrested for driving while intoxicated. Having had a great number of DUIs, he knew the drill. He got in the back of the police car, and went to the station to sleep it off like Otis from “The Andy Griffith Show”.

After sleeping in the cell for hours, he got up and posted bail. He knew he was going to be repeating the same pattern. He would not be able to drive to make sales appointments. He probably had lost his job again. He was on the downward spiral yet again. He walked down the street, and tried to come up with a plan on how to proceed. As he walked, he started to feel like he was in a familiar place. It was like a dream. He knew he had been there before, but couldn’t figure out when. Then he saw it. His car.

The police had left his car parked on the side of the road, and had not arranged for a tow. He reached into his pocket, and found his keys. What the hell. Might as well get the car home, right? He climbs into the car, starts it and starts to drive home. A few miles later, he sees the lights flashing in his rearview mirror. He gets pulled over. The cop smells the booze on him, and gives him a field sobriety test. He fails. Just like that, he records his second DUI on the same day from the same drinking binge.

When he eventually went to court, the proceedings were described as “unpleasant” to me. It couldn’t have been easy to explain that incident away. I think his license was finally taken for good that day. He agreed to go to rehab, and his parents flew across the country to pay for it and hear his hollow promises on how this would be the last time (again). He then went to a somewhat real jail where he earned the nickname “Iceman” for the silent demeanor he used to mask his total terror of being locked in with violent career criminals. Since then, I think he has been back to rehab another four times and counting.

His brother still laughs when he tells the 2 DUIs in one day story though…


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