The story below is from our December/November 2015 issue. For the DIGITALLY ENHANCED VERSION, download our FREE iOS app or view our digital edition for FREE today!
A routine traffic stop after a holiday evening could change your life, even if you are, like our subject, an active church-goer with a perfect driving record and a trusted position in the community.
‘Tis the holiday season! A great time to share food and drink with family and friends.
And in the hopes that everyone has a happy and safe holiday, here is a series of events that happened to a good friend of mine whom we shall call Dave.
Dave is in his 60s, easy going, is active in his church, has a perfect driving record, and has a very responsible position in the community.
After finishing his third cocktail in as many hours on an empty stomach at an upscale dining sports bar, he left to have a quick bite at Waffle House. You might say Dave is not your big spender.
Slowing down but not stopping completely at the corner stop sign he pulled out onto the highway. An officer working radar near the front of the establishment pulled Dave over immediately. After presenting his license and registration to the officer, he was informed that he failed to come to a complete stop at the stop sign.
The officer asked Dave if he had been drinking alcohol. Dave confesses that indeed he did have a cocktail earlier. The officer asked if he only had one drink. Dave, the honest, church-going individual that he is, mentioned he may have had two. The officer politely asked Dave to step out of the vehicle.
Cooperating with every request, Dave was given a breathalyzer test and performed the field sobriety test on the shoulder of the busy highway. Two other cruisers arrived, one shining its lights on Dave.
There was no miscount when counting backwards from 98 or reciting parts of the alphabet. Dave allowed that he did wobble a bit when asked to stand on one leg. He was then informed of his rights, handcuffed behind the back and placed in the back seat of the officer’s cruiser.
Dave’s vehicle was searched completely. The officer complimented him on the cleanliness of his vehicle (nothing was found). A nearby tow truck came and towed his vehicle to an impoundment area.
Dave mentioned the binding handcuffs were beginning to hurt both wrists. They were replaced with a looser pair which allowed better circulation.
At the police station, Dave was immediately given a breathalyzer. He “blew” .08. In Virginia .07 is legal. After what seemed an eternity Dave was processed, his photo taken and he was asked if he wanted to make a call.
Not wishing to alarm or inconvenience anyone at the now late hour of 11 p.m., Dave advised that there was no one that he wished to call. He requested a cab for a ride back to his residence.