DUI Equals Loss

I was scanning through profiles of friends on Facebook earlier. And I came across a page of which several of my high school friends belonged. It was a page for the birthday of our classmate’s sister. She was killed in 1991 by a drunk driver.

I remember really liking her in the one year I knew her. She was a senior when I was a freshman. I remember she seemed to be the only nice senior I met. She offered me and other students rides home. She never treated us like we were less human. She had a huge heart and beautiful laugh. She had gorgeous eyes and a bright smile. And she died too young because of a drunk driver. Because of someone like me.

I mentioned before that I was a good kid. I did not start drinking until I was 18. Well, I tried a few drinks here and there. Mostly with my older sister. But I never really DRANK until I joined the military. And the blackouts started almost right away. I never connected my behavior to the behavior of the person that killed my classmate’s sister. I never thought I would become one of “those people”. Aka people with a drinking problem.

The other night at work, a commercial came on the television for a lawyer that specializes in DUIs. Two coworkers were commenting how expensive DUIs cost now. “That is a couple thousand dollars now.” I said “it costs more than money.”

After my second DUI, I sort of thought I had a drinking problem. Or at least I admitted I was having too many problems from drinking. That was when I first created a “sobriety journal” to start listing the problems. But I did not want to stop drinking. I was not ready. I just wanted to learn to control my drinking and avoid blackouts. I never realized I had to find a solution to my self-hatred: my reason for drinking.

Too many people think DUIs are no big deal. Or the legal and financial consequences are too harsh. But there are too many second and third DUIs. There are too many accidents related to alcohol. There are too many deaths. And the death of someone I once admired was not enough to steer me away from driving drunk.

Mistake 233- My first DUI: I was at the usual bar I hung out at on Thursday nights. After last call, I tried to drive to my job to sleep in my car in the parking lot. I kept extra clothes and toiletries in my trunk for such occasions. I was worried if I drove home, I would sleep through my alarm. Instead, I got pulled over for not having my headlights on. Something so simple. I failed the sobriety test and breathylzer. I do not remember what my BAC was.

I was arrested. Ironically, I was wearing a t-shirt “Top 10 Drunk Lies” at the time I was lucky I knew the home number of a friend because 1) you could only make collect calls from jail and 2) you could not make collect calls to cell phones. And who knows phone numbers much anymore? Usually you just look up their name in your contact list. He came and bailed me out. I got home in time to call out sick from work and spent the day crying. My roommate told me her “almost arrested” stories. We agreed it was just bad luck.

After my court date and sentencing, my driver license was restricted, I paid fines, and I had to take an alcohol safety class. All of the people in that class were forced there and did not take it serious. None of us thought we had a problem. AA meetings were not recommended nor required. I basically learned I just better plan out my drinking nights. And that worked for a few years. (Mostly because I did not drive for a few years.)

Mistake 234- While not a drunk mistake, this was linked to my DUI: I got caught driving on the restricted license when I should not have been driving. I was allowed to drive to and from work, to and from school, to and from doctor appointments, and to and from my alcohol classes. I was driving to pick up my mom for dinner before going to my college graduation ceremony. I got pulled over for expired registration tags. The police officer gave me a ticket for the tags and violating my restricted license. I thought graduation would be included under driving to and from school but the judge ruled otherwise. He suspended all my driving privileges for a year. And I missed my college graduation ceremony because I was not in the mood after getting the ticket. I ended up getting rid of that car since I could not drive it because I was not able to afford the insurance with the DUI surcharges.

First Sober Trip to Mexico

9am and I am on a plane waiting to fly to Mexico. I am not nervous: neither nervous about flying nor desire to drink. I feel all my “alcohol education” I have been teaching myself the past 8 months has helped. (I will reach my 8 month milestone while on this trip!)

I mentioned the time only because I got upgraded to business class and everyone around me is ordering orange juice and vodka. A screwdriver at 9am. I would have picked Bloody Mary if I was still drinking. But I am happy with my coffee. (Okay,  not really cause it tastes burnt.)

I have a few days of diving and reading planned. It is rainy season so not expecting too much sun. Excited that I won’t be wasting money and calories on margaritas. I am more worried about my willpower with chips and salsa. Trying to limit my complex carbs for the next month to see if it helps me drop a few pounds.


Found my section on drink menu

Mistake 227- I spent New Year’s Eve in Cancun once with a boyfriend. We took a bottle of champagne to the beach for midnight after pre-drinking all night. I think we had “two-for-one” deals that night. After finishing off the bottle and feeling very drunk, we had sex on the beach. That would not be a big deal except I swear I caught flashes from a camera. I was too drunk to care. So might be photos out there somewhere of me and my boyfriend doing the nasty on a beach in Mexico.

Mistake 228- Last time I was in Mexico, I spent an afternoon getting drunk on the beach of Tulum alone. I then drank a few drinks after the sun went down. I started to walk back to my hotel. A truck pulled up as I was walking and the stranger offered me a ride. I got in. The man was an American living there. He said he watched me sitting on the beach that day He asked if I wanted to go on an adventure. I asked what did he mean. He said “you know what I mean.” My response was a loud, drunk laugh and I said no thanks. He dropped me off at my hotel and it wasn’t until I told some friends that I really realized the risky situation I put myself in.

Mistake 229- I kept drinking once I got back to my hotel. I overslept the next morning and almost missed my bus to the airport. I was hungover on my flight home.

Mistake 230- My first time to Mexico was when I was 18. I was new to drinking but already experiencing blackouts. (Wrote about a few mistakes already from my younger years.) I went to Tijuana and got very drunk with some friends. We never got passed the first bar because I was doing so many shots of tequila, I could barely walk. My friends had to almost drag me to the bus back to San Diego. I remember kissing one of my friends that night who had a girlfriend. I almost got in trouble for underage drinking when I got back to my school.

Mistake 231- I took another trip to Tijuana a few weeks later. Again, got super drunk but at least we made it to the main street of bars. I was so drunk I either dropped my wallet or was pickpocketed. I had no ID to return across the border. (This was before they required passports.) I started crying. Thankfully I was with a friend who had two ID’s: her drivers license and military ID. Since the photo on the military ID was black and white, she crossed the border with her drivers license and I flashed her military ID while hanging onto a male friend. Thankfully, I did not get busted for impersonating a military person.

Mistake 232- I took a trip further south from Tijuana with a guy I was “dating” (it was only sexual), our friend and his girlfriend. We all got a room to share. We spent the afternoon drinking so much that we all needed to nap before sunset. My guy and I were so drunk that we started to have sex as soon as we got in the bed. We did not seem to notice our friends were in the room. I do not talk to either of the guys anymore but I am still friends with the girl. She said it was the most awkward moment of her life.