Life without Driving Privileges

Last week was my DMV hearing.  My attorney called me afterwards stating that the hearing went as expected, and another hearing has been scheduled for mid-August.  By the time the mid-August hearing rolls around, I will have been without driving privileges for over 70 days.  The business purpose temporary license helps.  But at the same time, here are my impressions around the rehabilitative aspects of losing the license.

  1. Living without a restriction-free license is an effective tool.  Most, if not all, folks with a DUI would think about committing the crime again.  Seriously, things like buying pet-food require coordination.  “Hey, when you come over this weekend, can we please stop by the grocery store?”
  2. The temporary business-purpose-only license is a blessing.  I can maintain my livelihood, and hold on to some semblance of normalcy.  Sure, I miss colloquial “open road,” but with the BPO, you learn to appreciate the simple pleasure of driving to work on the daily basis.  And I am terrified — if I lose at the second DMV hearing, I lose my driving privileges, including the temporary BPO, for 30 days.  This means no driving whatsoever.  This will, without question, be the most trying experience of my adult life.
  3. You get to know Uber and Lyft drivers.  Seriously – want to get on the train to go see your girlfriend who lives out of town? Take the Lyft to the train station. Get on the train. Get off the train. Get into a cab that takes you to your girlfriend’s house.  A $30 dollar per-trip gas bill is now $120 but that’s the price I must pay.

In my mind, sometimes I have inappropriate thoughts — most commonly, “why me? I have already promised to never drink again, and I sure as hell won’t drink and drive! Why can’t I get my license back already?”  But then I put myself in my pre-June shoes.  I would hear that statement and say, “great that you’re repentant, but keeping you off the road is definitely working both for the society at large, and yourself as a person.  So let’s make sure you finish your punishment.”  And if you have never gotten a DUI, I am sure you feel the same way.  So I understand why my driving privileges are revoked.  I understand it is doing me good.  I appreciate that it has already done me a lot of good as a person.  Therefore, nothing I can or should do other than keep moving forward from this point on.

As I finish typing this, I can’t help but appreciate how lucky I have been…been with a car since the day I turned 16; lived a fantastic adulthood; never had any issues with the law; finished law school cum laude…and then made a horrific decision which has led me to this point.  And even in that horrific decision, the consequences have been minimal — I didn’t injure or kill anyone.  For that, I will be forever thankful.  Perhaps one day when I get my driving privileges back, I can prove to the society that it was right to give me a second chance.  Until then, I shall take joy in my drive to and from work.

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