Last night I discovered just what is involved in a sobriety test as administered by the local police. It was an interesting learning experience. No, I was not at all involved. Instead, I was merely a witness to the proceedings at it took place on the sidewalk in front of Jay’s house. We had front row seats to the show. I suppose that I shouldn’t be excited about another person’s misfortunes, but it was of their own doing. If you don’t want to be made into a spectacle on the side of the road then find a DD!
Jay and I were talking in the kitchen when we heard the police siren. That is not unusual around here because he lives one block away from a main road. The unusual part was seeing the flashing lights stop in front of his house. Looking out the window we saw a Lincoln Navigator pulled over. This Lincoln Navigator happend to have the passenger side mirror hanging loose on the door. Not a good sign.
This woman swore up and down that she wasn’t drunk, and the bad thing was that she was very close to her house, just a hundred feet or so from where she was stopped. After the usual checking of the license and plate he asked her to step out of the car. I have to feel sorry for the cops because I’m sure that dealing with a lot of these DWI cases it’s the same. They swear up and down that they didn’t have much to drink. When they get pulled out of the car they swear up and down that they are fine, and how about if they just let them go. If the person doesn’t do so well on the tests then they start rationalizing and trying to impress upon the police man about how important it is that they don’t get ticketed for DWI because they could lose their job, etc. If it was that important then you should have done a better job of not getting drunk and then driving.
The first test involves standing with one foot up off the ground for 30 seconds. This woman tried it, but first she raised her foot way too high and she almost fell over. Then she just couldn’t seem to keep her balance with the one foot raised. I gave her a pass on that one because I have trouble with my balance, too, so I’m not sure that I could do it if I was really nervous and knew that the cop was looking to see if I was drunk. My luck I would flunk that one horribly.
Test #2 is the one that most of us are familiar with from movies and TV. You walk a straight line, putting your heel to your toes as you step, turn around after nine steps and head back to the point from where you started. Now, that one should be easy enough. Even I could do that. This woman last night was having issues with that one. I had to laugh (and I know… I shouldn’t!) but after about five attempts of putting one foot in front of the other she settled into more of a regular walk. She gets back to the starting point and stands there saying, “See! I’m fine! Now please just let me drive home.” The cop was very nice and I never once heard him speak sharply to her.
The last test you stand in one spot, tilt your head back, close your eyes, and then with your arms outstretched you bring your pointer finger in to touch your nose. The police officer will tell you which arm to use so that you don’t have to worry about that little detail. The woman last night was having a bit of difficulty with that, sometimes not keeping her head tilted back or even making quite the movement with her arm to hit her nose.
As soon as that test was done the police officer looked at his buddy and gave him a nod. This second cop had pulled up about the time that the first test was going on. As cop #2 goes walking to his patrol car the woman again starts pleading to just let her go because she was fine. That’s when the cop mentioned the fact that she had hit another car, which is why her mirror was hanging limp at the side of the car. The woman then starts insisting that she’ll pay for the damage if he will just let her go. Cop #2 comes walking back up to them carrying the breathilizer device. I have no idea what she blew because if they told her what it was they didn’t say it loud enough for us to hear from our perch in the window. All we know is that after the second round of blowing into the device, they said a couple things to her, and then cuffed her and put her in the monkey cage.
Cop #2 pulled a hunk of glass out of his car and it matched up perfectly to the limp side mirror. Must be he had gathered that from the crash scene and just needed it as evidence to verify that it belonged to her car. Then they went through her car to see what they could find. They pulled out a case of beer and an open can. I have open cans rolling around in my car sometimes (not beer cans, though), but there wasn’t any leg to stand on when he tipped it and poured out what had remained in there. The first cop went to his patrol car, read her her rights, and then told her what they were going to ticket her for. One of them was DWI and the other was for an open container.
They finished up with that, took her off to the pokey, and then the second cop left after the tow truck came and hauled her stinkin’ Lincoln away. Go ahead… call me a dork, but it was entertaining. Growing up in the middle of nowhere I never got to see things like that. And considering that I don’t drink and drive, I have never had to personally experience any of those tests. At least now I know what to expect! 😉
Sorry if you thought this post was boring. Maybe you had to be there…