So, I thought I learned my lesson with driving back from the bars after my actions almost a year ago, but aparently I was wrong. I also thought that .08 was the limit and if you were there or lower, you were fine, but aparently that is wrong as well.
Yesterday, I had to work from 10am till 6pm during one of the busiest weekends this year (Penn State vs. Minnesota football game). After work, I stuck around and watched the end of the game, which ended at about 6:50. From there, I drove home and took a nap till 10pm. Got up, took a shower and drove back into town to meet some friends at 11pm. There I had a can of Busch beer (it's what they had).
After that, I went to a bar (for those familiar with the area, the Lion's Den) to meet some other friends. This was about 11:45. At the bar, I had 2 rum and cokes. I left the bar at 1:45 and went back to the first place, picking up a 12-pack of Yuengling lager on the way.
When I got back there at 2am, I played 1 game of beer pong, where we won and I drank 1 beer. This took less than 10 minutes. My current tally was 4 drinks in roughly 3 hours. The rum and cokes were a little strong, so I was estimating 5 MAYBE 6 tops. At my weight, I figured I was right about .07-.08 so I then proceded to sit around and BS with my friends drinking water for another half hour just to make sure.
At 2:45, I got in my car to head to an after-hours party from work on the other end of town. I placed the 12-pack in my car (there were 6 left because I gave some away, but they were unopened). I drove to a convenience store on the way to get smokes (The Minute Mart on the corner of College and Atherton). From there, I was going to park in the west-campus lots because they are free and I could leave my car there overnight, as I had every intention of actually getting drunk at the party and had already claimed a couch at the place. The parking spots for the Minute Mart have access to Atherton to the east of the store, but the alley I wanted runs perpendicular and is blocked off by a fence to the north. I pulled out into the road and hung a "hard left" to get to the alley. Drove down the alley, turned right to head up into the parking spots where cop lights turned on behind me.
I pulled over, gave the officer my license , registration, and insurance. He informed me that the turn I made was illegal because I never entered the proper lanes of travel and that if I'da gone all the way across the street, THEN pulled a hard left to come back, it'd been OK. He shined the light in my car and saw the 12-pack and asked me where I was coming from and going. I told him. Then he asked if I had been drinking, I told him yes and repeated everything above**.
He asked me to get out of the car and began issuing a field sobriety test. I passed the light/eye test. I failed the walk a straight line test because 2 of the 18 steps were not heel to toe. He then asked if I had any health issues that prevented me from walking well or standing and I showed him the scars on my knee from my surgeries and the scars on the other from the near ganggrene I had.
At this point he decided that he should issue a field breathylizer on me. He informed me that I had the right to refuse and that the results were not admissable into court either way. I told him that, "I felt fine, but I will consent because if I am wrong, then I deserve to be removed from the road, even though I was coming right here, because I could've put myself or others in danger." I blew a .08.
He showed me the results and I said, "That is the limit, right?" He said, "yes." I replied, "well then I'm OK."
This is where I guess I was wrong with interperating the law. He said that anything between .05 and .08 is at the officer's discretion and that to verify it, he was going to take me to the hospital to have bloodwork done. I had the right to refuse, but if I did, I would be immediately arrested and lose my license for a minimum of 6 months. I consented and held my hands out to be cuffed.
At this point he laughed and said, "How big are you?" I replied, "6'04" and 320 pounds." He looked at me and said, "no way!" I replied with, "when we get to the hospital, we can weigh me if you like." He did a quick frisk, took my wallet, cell phone, and lighter, but left me with my gum, smokes, and blistex. I turned around to be cuffed again and he said, "I don't think that's necessary. I'm going to have a hard enough time fitting you in my car to begin with.
His back-up officer moved my car to the parking spot I was heading for originally, locked it up and gave my keys to the officer with me. We drove to the hospital
where they drew blood. The officer then said he would either "A. take me home or B. take me to the party." I was sitting in the back seat saying, are you telling me that you're going to drop me off, with my keys to go drink next door to where my car is after taking me all the way up here on the suspicion of drunk driving?"
He thought for a second and said, "Let's go home then."
Morals of the story:
1. Never make an illegal left. Even if you've made that same left over 300 times before over the last 6 years.
2. Laws are fuzzy.
3. Don't push limits.
The officer told me that my speech, driving, and eyes were fine. I was by far the nicest and politest DUI stop he's ever encountered. He said that if the tests come back .08 or even .09, that he would probably opt to not press charges because I did not demonstrate any dangerous behavoir and seemed to attempt responsiblity as well as accepted my responsiblity in the matter, rather than trying to bargin, whine, or threaten my way out of it.
He will get the blood results on wednesday and call me. *crosses fingers*
** I have always found that yelling, taking an attitude, or lying to the police is ALWAYS counterproductive. Just tell them the truth and bight the bullet if you are in the wrong.