Drunken driving is illegal, dangerous, frightening - and just plain stupid. Just ask the cops whose job it is to pull over motorists suspected of driving under the influence before these drivers destroy their lives or take those of others. They’ve got lots of stories of how “stupid and scary” people get when they drink and drive. Officers have told these war stories:
During the entire 10 minutes it took San Jose police Sgt. Will Battaglia to test and arrest a DUI suspect, another motorist was stopped behind his patrol car. When Battaglia asked if he could help, the inebriated driver pointed to the patrol car’s flashing amber roof lights and replied: “No, thank you officer, I’m just waiting for the lights to change.”
Despite a blown tire and another broken off at the axle, a drunken driver suspected of hit-and-run still was trying to flee into an apartment garage when Sgt. Glenn Young of the San Jose State University police pulled up. The driver staggered out of the vehicle and proclaimed, “I’m home!”
Deputy Greg Pitlock of the San Mateo (Calif.) County Sheriff’s Department late one night pulled over a young woman who was driving the wrong way on Interstate 280. Her excuse? “I’m blonde, and when I get drinking I get really silly. I don’t know how I got here.” She later told Pitlock she had driven for 14 miles against traffic.
Officer Richard Stagner of the Sunnyvale (Calif.) Department of Public Safety was called to investigate a brand-new Mazda RX-7 abandoned in the dirt median on the Central Expressway. When he got there, a tipsy man walked up and Stagner asked him if the Mazda was his. “Yes, officer, that’s my baby, and nobody but me drives my baby.” The man, who had the car keys in his pocket, went to jail. His baby went to the impound yard.
After Los Gatos, Calif., police Capt. Jeff Miller stopped a motorist for speeding, the man told him: “If I were you, I would arrest me. I’m so drunk.”
Ditto for the driver stopped for weaving by officer Terry McLean of the California Highway Patrol’s Hollister-Gilroy office. “I had to drive. I was much too drunk to walk,” he told McLean. These are all true stories, folks. In each case, the driver’s blood-alcohol level was around three times the legal limit, or more. And, in each instance, the driver was handcuffed and carted off to jail before mayhem or death ensued.