Clems found a new place to nap. / on Instagram http://bit.ly/17HvWPd
Major selling point if working from home. / on Instagram http://bit.ly/13Zelxh
My monitor decided to enter 3D mode. / on Instagram http://bit.ly/104JX7q
About a month ago while in Atlanta for a wedding, I got pulled over, cuffed, and brought to the station because the police officer insisted that I was drunk.
I’m writing this from the subway, I’m in the middle of a product launch of Sprightly, so this is the only time I had to write this. Excuse the grammar, both because this is written with haste and because it seems I am yet to grasp the English language.
My wife’s friend was getting married in Atlanta. Being that we live in NYC and decided to go to Atlanta just for the wedding and come back the next day. After the wedding, a little after midnight, we began to head to our hotel. After about 3 minutes of driving, a police car pulls up next to us at a light and as the light turns green, we quickly get pulled over.
Turns out I was driving with my lights off. Honest mistake, it’s a rental car so these things happen. The officer asks me if I’ve been drinking, I say, I had a drink about 7 hours ago. He asks if he can administer a sobriety test, I mention I would rather just get a breathalyzer since it’s cold outside and I have a clunky outfit on (I was wearing a suit, it was a wedding after all). He says he does not have a portable one, so I would have to go the station.
I was administered three different tests. The first a test to see if I can follow a light pen around, this process takes a long time, and he holds the pen at a point where my eyes can’t look. I tell him this, but he continues. The second test, is to see if I can walk in a straight line. The idea is to walk much like I remember that on karate class I took when I was 8, with one foot in front of the other. I feel like I do a good job on this, though I am shaking because of the cold. The third test I just have to hold my foot up, which was surprisingly easy, I figured I aced this.
Ends up I did not ace the test and the police offer promptly cuffs me and puts me in the back of the police car. There was a second officer at the scene, who at this time questions the first office on whether I passed or not. The second officer opens the door and asks me some questions. The first officer re-does the first test with the light pen, once again putting the pen in a location no human and stretch. I tell them this, they don’t care and they shut the door.
Being put into the back of a patrol car was a surreal experience. I’ve never been handcuffed before, and it was incredibly uncomfortable. Initially there was this neat feeling, like wow, it’s like I’m on Cops, but in 3D. What a novelty, can’t wait to tell my friends, wish my hands were free so I could Tweet this (I guess now I have content for my abandoned blog). But shortly it settled in that, what, maybe I am drunk. Maybe being drunk means you can’t tell if you’re drunk. I did have a drink 7 hours before. I had the drink not because I really wanted the drink, but because there wasn’t any food at the time and I wanted some olives. Were the olives worth it? Debatable.
Seeing the flashing lights from the point of view of the police car was pretty neat. Unfortunately as the police officer sped through town, he also spent quite a bit of time texting people. Yes, the long arm of the law texts while driving and speeding. I’m in great company. Maybe the glass separator will slow my face down in the case of an accident, since I don’t exactly have my seatbelt on or a way to put it on.
Eventually we reach the station. The station doesn’t have quite the hustle and bustle I imagined a station to be. Ends up it’s not a real station, but instead a tiny station inside of Georgia Tech since they have the closest breathalyzer machine.
He leads me to a small room sit down, still cuffed and he leaves me alone for a while. There sits the decider of my fate, the breathalyzer. But, this is a breathalyzer of another name. I figure breathalyzer is a brand-name like jacuzzi, so this one is named the Intoxilyzer 5000. Yes, the Intoxilyzer 5000, a name that sounds like a child’s science fair project. I hope this isn’t some second rate machine because it certainly looks like a second rate machine.
He comes back, I realize he removed his sidearm so my guess is he locked it away. He stands me up, gives me a little plastic mouthpiece and begins typing into the machine with what I can only describe as the worst user interface I have ever seen. The screen readout is a bunch 7 segment LEDs, sort of like an alarm clock.
He puts an index card over the readout, I ask him why and he says it’s just that’s how he does it. I ask him does he do it because he doesn’t like to know the results before they’re all done? He says nothing. I imagine it’s some sort of superstition or he thinks I’ll modify by breaths if I have visual feedback of my BAC.
He explains to be me to use it, quite a bit of directions that can easily boiled down to something like “When it beeps, blow into this pipe, when it beeps stop”. I begin to blow into this thing, quite a few thoughts run through me head:
I can’t tell how long this process took exactly, but it was somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes. The machine prints out the results, he signs the sheet. Looking back at the printout, it took 4 minutes. The longest 4 minutes ever. I ask him how I did, he said, well, you got 0.000, you’re free to go. THREE ZEROS. That’s really a hard zero. He says he’ll take one of the copies, but he never does. Theres a sign in sheet that say’s the scores of everyone taken in, most scores are high, like 0.17, and of course theres a 0.000 now. He tells me how his partner recently died from a helicopter crash and everyone once in awhile he goes back to see his signatures.
Yes, a touching moment, but remember I’ve been wrongly accused of being a drunkard and I’m at a makeshift police station while my wife is still in a car on the side of the road.
The ride back to the scene is uneventful, I’m no longer cuffed, he tells me about the area and where all the famous people live. I pretend to care about the current living arrangements of Tyler Perry.
The next morning, my hands still bruised from the handcuffs, I begin to research field sobriety tests. How reliable could these be if a completely sober (yet somewhat clumsy person) could throw a false positive? Was the police officer really certain I was drunk, or did he purposely fail me out of boredom?
I spent a bit of time researching how field sobriety tests work, and the law around it. Ends up that all field tests are building up a case against you. You don’t have to take them, and you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t ever tell a police officer where you’re coming from, if you drank anything, or anything really. Their goal is to build a case, saying well, this guy came from a wedding, it’s late, he must have drank, and he stumbled on those tests.
If I did not mention where I was coming from, didn’t do the tests, there would be no evidence I was drunk. The lights being off just mean I am not mindful of my environment (and that Atlanta’s street lighting is top notch). Hope someone learns from my mistake.
You know it’s nice outside when Clementine sits outside contemplating life. / on Instagram http://instagram.com/p/X2YghDsaaO/
She’ll be doing backflips in no time. / on Instagram http://bit.ly/16oKX54
I swear they made it look disapproving on purpose. / on Instagram http://instagr.am/p/XC8d9rsaVw/
Woke up freakishly early and figured I would watch the sun rise. / on Instagram http://instagr.am/p/XCra-lMaSF/
“Draw me like one of your French girls” / on Instagram http://instagr.am/p/Wp3QdksaS7/