Monday, January 03, 2005

Day of Reckoning

Hi All!

The year certainly got off to a bad start for me.

This posting is by way of letting the world know how I am feeling today. If you aren't interested in a sad sack story, go away and come back later. But if you would indulge me in a bit of self-pity, it would lighten my heart and make less heavy my chest.

Last May, I had a very untimely and unfortunate encounter with the local constabulary. The sad tale was told here and are in the archives for May 2004.

Today I was judged. And I got the book thrown at me. Chalk up another win for the MADD crowd.

In addition to the few months I have left in my stayed commitment which has kept me away from home (and computer) I will now be under "house arrest" for which I am to pay for 24-hour electronic monitoring.

This will go on for 90-days, after which I get to become intimate with a parole officer for the next two years.

Perhaps the unkindest cut of all is the forfeiture of my dream collector car which I owned for 9 days. There is a page on my website, if you want to see it.

I am writing this down for therapy. I can't argue that I commited DWI and that the punishments are as prescribed.

The thing that gets to me is that my $8000 lawyer, paid out of a future inheritance, wasn't able to do much better than an ambulance chaser or even a public defender.

The only "breaks" I got were avoidance of 30-days in jail, for which I had a note from my doctor saying my health wouldn't permit it anyway, and 2-years probabation vs. 4 and a reduced fine.

If I didn't know better, I'd consider myself lucky. But several months in institutions where I met plenty of really "bad guys" gave me countless anecdotes about how those who have done what I've done, and a lot worse, have gotten off more lightly.

No one in the same circumstances, or again, worse, have had their vehicle taken. I don't even have the option of buying it back, nor can any relative.

On the lighter side, things with me have nowhere to go but up -- I think. Here's just hoping I live long enough with my end-stage disease to rebuild my life, which is in total shambles today.

Don't drink and drive, even a mile from your house. If you suffer the disease of alcoholism, don't drink at all (duh!)

If you do get caught, don't waste too much money on a lawyer. The laws have become more draconian than one can imagine. You could make out better by choosing a different crime, even a more serious one!

With that I try like hell to live in the moment and put away the past. Easier said than done, but who knows, with a few more months of treatment, comitment and house arrest, I will probably have no problem brushing things off.

Thanks for hearing me out. Please spare me the "you deserved it" replies. I know, I know.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You deserved... better.

Hang in there. From this day forward, no matter what has happened before, and no matter how long your health lasts, the best thing you can be is a good example for your kids. You have the opportunity to show them what a man is made of. You have served as a bad example for them, and they have suffered through it with you. Now show them how to put a life back together-- it will be an invalueable life lesson to them, because we all have adversity in our lives to overcome.

Been checking almost every day-- glad to see you're back. You have my e-mail address if I can do anything to help.


12:50 PM  
Blogger Swiftee said...

Paul it's good to hear from you, even if it was to post bad news.

What's done is done, the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to concentrate on getting yourself in as good a state of health as possible.

As badly (and I agree unfairly) as you were handled by the legal system, if you come away from it all sober and alive it may have been worth the price you have paid.

Best wishes to you and your family Paul.

Tom Swift

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Sorry sack of shit! Whaa whaa whaa. You're just lucky you're whole family hasn't turned their backs on you and just walked away! Spare you the "You deserved it replies" ?? Thats exactly what you should here! You have damn near drank yourself to death, must have caused untold grief to your wife and kids and now come out in a public forum and looking for sympathy?? Poor baby! Wish I had an inheritance to look forward to! I wouldn't piss it away on a bottle. It sounds to me as though you did get off easy. You say you got the book theown at you? Think again buddy!!! Whatever they are charging you for your bracelet is cheap compared to what you deserve..... People like you drive around until some innocent person dies because you run over them. You should loose you precious car and your license. The best day off your life was when that "Constable" took you off the streets and forced you to look in the mirror. I agree with you though, "Chalk up another win for the MADD crowd" but I would add "and for society"!

5:58 PM  
Blogger Flash said...

Well, coming off Anony above, this should be a little better.

I scowered your archices curious as to what it is like to get a DWI these days. I had two within 14 months during the mid 80's. I thought it was a nightmare then, but NOTHING compared to what you have gone through.

I had to make a call, either don't drink or don't drive. I opted for the latter. I went almost 15 years without a drivers license. The look on the face of the DOT Reviewer, who had to authorize the issuance of all reinstatments, was just short of shock. I think I broke the record with my 15 year absence from the road.

I used the 'one drop rule' for quite awhile, refusing to get behind the wheel if I had anything to drink at all. Over the last couple years I'll have a couple, and then switch to Iced tea or soda. It's well worth the redicule from friends then a another DUI.

As for your new organization, FnMADD. I started my own soon after my issues. It's called DAMM, Drunks Against MADD Mothers *laughing*

Wishing you the best, and don't let those dissenters bother you. Until it happens to them, they have no perspective.


8:13 AM  
Blogger Flash said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a police officer, I do not think I am sorry to hear about your runs in with the law. I am not trying to be mean or harsh, but I, myself, while driving in a patrol car, was almost hit head on by a drunk driver. I have personally seen the effects that drunk drivers have on others and, sometimes, on themselves. Not all drunks survive the crash. One drunk driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, took a turn at a very high rate of speed, lost control, flipped, and ejected himself out of the vehicle. His head was crushed by the vehicle. You could actually see the imprint his head made on the vehicle when the vehicle rolled over on him. Suffice to say, he did not survive. Weird thing about alcohol, it is not just how much you drink, but it is also how tolerant you are with it. I have seen a woman pass out with a blood alcohol level of .076, below the legal limit in my state. That is why there is normally two parts to a drunk driving law. The reason that the punishment for drunk driving appears draconian is not due to MADD, but due to the fact that drunk drivers have been tolerated for a long, long time, in the law and in society in general. You might be mad at MADD, but it is your actions, your addiction, your risk taking behind the wheel while being drunk, is what got you into this mess in the first place. Yes, you are correct that other more serious crimes have a less severe punishment. That can be rectified, however, society has to make that call. Society, via some group or individually, has to make lawmakers fix the situation and it is not through lessening the drunk driving law. I am glad to hear you realize that it was your own fault, but it also seems you still believe that the punishment does not fit the crime. May be, may be not. I am not familiar with your particular situation, but, generally, I would assert that the drunk driving punishments are spot on.

11:57 AM  
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9:12 AM  

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