Continually looking over your shoulder

Before the DUI, life was so much simpler.  Everyday things were…well, everyday things.  I want to give a basic example for why you shouldn’t drink and drive.

Where I work, we sometimes have after-hours software releases.  This is to reduce the amount of users that get affected by the downtime.  On a Friday evening, there are only a few users, if that, who use the system.  So it makes for a perfect release time.  Before the DUI, if the boss said, “let’s do it at 11 PM on Friday,” my response was “absolutely!” After the DUI, I still say yes but the optimism that comes with releasing new software to our customers is faded.  The stress of having to drive at night creeps in.

You see, in my state, driving after a DUI arrest is limited to business purpose only.  This means that the offender is allowed to drive to work, school, church or the doctor.  The law does contain a provision that allows for things necessary to sustain livelihood, but the law fails to define what that ambiguous statement means.  So if the offender gets pulled over and is not going to work, school, church or the doctor, and the officer does not believe that the driver is driving for something that is a necessity, the offender can be arrested for violating the drivers’ license restriction — combine that with a DUI and the already blemished resume becomes even more troublesome. (This isn’t legal advice.  I am not your lawyer.  What your driving restrictions mean in your state can only be answered by your attorney. What I am sharing about the license restrictions is only what is true for my case as explained to me by my attorney.)

So back to the story — last Friday, we had an 11 pm release.  I was mortified — I kept thinking, “if I get pulled over, would the officer believe me when I told him I am going to work or coming back from work, especially this late at night?”  To cover my bases, I printed a copy of the release night email sent to us by our boss, along with my daily calendar to show that I was truly supposed to be at work. Even though I was in full compliance of my license restriction and had the paperwork for the release night right next to me, I just had this sinking feeling that no officer would believe that I was going to work at 11 PM.

Thankfully, I was not stopped. But I hope you can see how a simple thing, like driving to work, which is completely legal under my limited license, caused such stress.  If you’ve not gotten a DUI, congratulations.  Keep it that way.  Life is much simpler without one.

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