Holiday weekends are notorious for an increase in drunk drivers. Flashing signs adorn the roadways informing motorists that increased DWI enforcement is going on. While more cops are looking for drunk driver’s on these weekends, I have discovered that usually the drunk driver finds me.
Thursday Night: An intoxicated motorist crashed through a T intersection and drove through 100 yards of field before coming to a stop. Arriving first to the location, I was barraged with comments by the driver about how she was a good person, a good “momma” and was on her way to take care of her friend’s cat. First she denies being drunk, then apologizes for being drunk, then swears that she will never drink alcohol again and finally blames her friend for asking her to watch the cat. Denial, acceptance, remorse and blame is typically the pattern that occurs on a DWI stop.
Friday Night: I had just finished a call in which a local gas station had been burglarized. I was close to the interstate when our dispatch asked if there was a squad available to investigate a drunk driving complaint. I couldn’t have been positioned better to locate the car, and told our dispatch I would try and find the vehicle.
Within minutes I was following a car varying speeds from 60 to 80 miles per hour, and having a difficult time deciding which lane of the road was best to stay in. After stopping the car I found a 22 year old driver staring right through me as I asked him where he was going. With eyes bloodshot and speech slurred he told me he thought he was in Rochester; more than a 120 miles from where he currently was.
After a horrendous performance of field sobriety tests I told him he was under arrest for DWI. For the next 3 hours he made demands as if I was his personal chauffeur. He wanted me to handcuff him in front instead of behind him. After not complying with his request he yelled over and over, “Unbind me!” His next demand was that I turn off the orange dome light in the back seat of my car due to the strain it put on his eyes.
I was disinclined to aqueous to that request as well, and began an inventory of his vehicle as I waited for the tow truck. When I walked back to my car I noticed that my dome light was off. As I opened the back door of my squad car I was greeted with a disdainful grin on the face of my drunk driver. He had brought his cuffed hands underneath his feet and in front of his body. This allowed him to rip the cover off my dome light and remove the whole light assembly from the cage. All that was left were the two wires sticking out of the plastic molding like bare twigs.
Saturday Night: I was helping my partner shut down the left lane of traffic on the interstate while a tow truck removed a vehicle that had gone into the center median. My sixth sense was sounding alarm bells that something bad was about to happen. The emergency lights on squad cars tend to attract drunk drivers like mosquitoes to a bug zapper.
Cars were flowing through the right lane at 60 to 70 miles per hour. Few slowed down to safe speeds. I was keeping a watchful eye in my rear view mirror and began noticing a pair of headlights coming towards me. As the vehicle drew closer I could feel my muscles tense. I quickly jammed my car into drive and peeled it forward about 10 feet. This gave the driver of the car behind me just enough time to realize he was on a collision course that would not end well. He jerked the wheel to the left and went into the center ditch. As he passed my car he spun the wheel to the right. This brought him back into the left lane, between my car and the tow truck, and then back into the right lane as he continued driving.
I quickly caught up with him, fairly certain of what I would find. I walked up to the car and said to the driver, “What the hell is your problem?” He looked at me in all seriousness and said, “What is your problem? Why were you in the middle of the road?” He received a ride to jail, courtesy of you- the tax payer.