Dealing with drunk people can be either entertaining, dangerous, exasperating or a combination of any of the three. I had just finished arresting a drunk driver and was coming back into the small town that contracts a deputy with our sheriff’s office. It was 0130 in the morning- a time when most people are sleeping; getting ready for another day at work.
I could see a lone figure walking down the middle of the road in a serpentine pattern. The person would take a few steps forward, stop, sway from side to side, regain balance, then take a few more uncertain steps. The pattern would then repeat itself. I drove past him and planned on making a u-turn to pull into the lane of traffic he was walking down. On one side of the road the curb was met by a thick clump of forest and I could see him dive into it as I hit my brakes.
I turned my squad car around I hit the spotlight into the dense foliage he had just made his friend. I couldn’t see a thing and I wasn’t about to go chase a drunk person through some swampy mess for no good reason. I pulled into a nearby parking lot and turned my lights and engine off. Within a minute I saw the drunk man pop his head out of the woods. He stared up and down the road, waiting to see if I would make an appearance. Slowly he staggered his way out of the woods and continued swaying, walking and staggering down the road.
I quickly started my squad car, pulled in behind him, threw the vehicle in park, and approached him. He stared back at me with a glassy, bloodshot look that said he was seeing three of me. I identified him and found that he had no warrants and was not on probation, which would prohibit his use of alcohol. He just had an engrained habit of hiding from cops. I noted his address on his driver’s license after he told me he was walking home. I said, “Gary you are walking in the opposite direction of your house”, pointing to where his house was as I informed him. He looked the way I was pointing, then slowly turned his head and looked at the way he had been walking. He turned his head back toward me and said with an alcohol drenched voice, “By God You’re Right.” I lost it and just started laughing.
“Gary, get in the back of my car and I’ll give you a ride home so I don’t have to scoop you up after being hit by some car.” He poured himself into the back seat of my car and I drove him the three blocks home. When we got into his driveway I said, “Gary- go into your house. Go to bed. And don’t come out until your sober.” I let him out of the car and he immediately began walking to the side of his detached garage. This is the conversation that ensued:
“Gary! Where are you going?”…“I have to take a piss.”…”Don’t you have a bathroom inside your house?”…“Yes.”…”Well use that one.”…“Ok.”
I watched with a grin on my face as he stumbled inside his house, knowing full well he would not be able to hit what he was about to aim at.