Saturday, May 09, 2009

Ater the drinking....

It's not often I get the chance to do something for the first time anymore! Today, I drank more at one sitting than I ever have before.

But I'm getting ahead of my story....

Kevin lovingly took me to the police academy this morning. Calling me his 'lovely lush', he kissed me goodbye and I followed Trey into the building. I brought a book to read and that was smart because we sat around for 2 hours before they took us to a room. They wanted to make sure that none of us ate those 2 hours before they started the liquor flowing.

First, we signed a release. "I realize that I will be given enough alcohol to make me legally drunk'.... I guess that's how they cover all the bases!

Then our blood pressure was checked (to make sure no one had a stroke) and that's how they covered more of their bases!

Lastly, we got to decide how drunk we wanted to get. What an interesting question. There were 9 of us in the room. 4 women and 5 men. I was the oldest person there. I'm thinking the whole 'age is wisdom' rings true because no one else my age was there!!

I actually got online last night to find out if there was any way to get out of having a hangover afterwards. I learned that whiskey gives the worst hangover, then rum, then vodka. So when they asked our liquor of choice, I chose vodka. Then I learned that a shot is about 1.5 ounces. So they gave us each 2 shots (3 oz) and our choice of mixer. I chose orange juice. We had to drink that first drink in 15 minutes. Ok, I could do that. 15 minutes later we were given another drink with 2 shots. So I had 6 oz of vodka in 30 minutes!

I am so not a drinker and it showed quickly! After about 45 minutes, my head started spinning or maybe it was my world that started spinning... I heard folks talking, but it sounded like a long ways away. I was crazy thirsty and kept getting up to go get drinks of water. I hope no one noticed that I used the door frame to aim me in the right direction and help hold me up.

Everyone was given another drink 1/2 hour later. Everyone, that is, but me. All I wanted to do was put my head down and go to sleep, or at least get the spinning to stop. I was still able to answer questions. At least I think I was. I know what my brain was saying, I hope what came out of my mouth was similar.

We all then went into a large room where there were groups of cadets waiting for us. Each group was to administer a field sobriety test and make a decision about that person's sobriety or lack thereof. None of the cadets had any idea how much liquor any of the volunteers had consumed.

So I had to watch the officer's finger.....(don't move your head, ma'am, just follow it with your eyes) Really, surely my head wasn't moving, at least I don't remember it moving.

Then I had to walk with one foot in front of the other, 9 steps, counting it out, turn to the left and walk back. Is it my fault that the directions were so confusing? Why did I end up on the right foot, and couldn't I turn to the right since I was left-handed?

After that came the really tricky one. I had to stand on one foot, holding the other 6 inches above the ground, watching the raised foot and counting. Oh yeah, and arms at your side so you can't swing them like a crazy person for balance. Really, it must be way harder than it sounds 'cuz I couldn't do that either.

I did 4 sobriety tests with 4 different groups. It didn't matter how nice they were, I just coudn't do it as well as they demonstrated them. Trey was in the 4th group. He tried to stay in the background but they asked him to do the 'follow the finger' test.

I think I got better with each test... sadly, the cadets didn't agree with me....

My blood alcohol was tested at the beginning and towards the end but the cadets (and we volunteers) weren't allowed to know the results until everyone was finished.

We were led into the classroom where all the groups shared their findings. They had to say if they would've arrested the person and approximate their blood alcohol levels.

3 out of the 4 goups that tested me said they would've arrested me! They averaged my blood alcohol levels at .08 - .125. (legally drunk is .08) One group said they wouldn't have arrested me and that my level was .03 - but they would've warned me to go right home!

My blood alcohol was .06 and then later tested as .51.

Truthfully, I have a hard time believing I wasn't legally drunk. However, since I've never had that much to drink ever before, I guess I don't have a basis for judging 'drunk'.

I realized once again that I am not a drinker, don't want to drink and don't even like drinking. Nothing is worth the headache and stomachache. And I still hate the thought of giving up my own sense of control.

I am thankful that I recognized my limits. Obviously one young man didn't because instead of getting tested, he spent his afternoon throwing up. When we were fixin' to go home, he was sitting outside with his head in a trash can. Knowing your limits is a good thing.

I do feel good that I was able to help these cadets gain experience for their roles as police officers. I'm also glad that my son-in-law wasn't afraid to turn me loose!

I am most glad that I'm now home and my sweet hubby made some good supper and I don't have to go anywhere else today.


Angie said...

The night I got my DUI (18 years ago), the officer asked me to stand on one foot (in 4 inch heels) and say my ABC's. Sadly, I had to sing them to remember them...right up to L,M,N,O,P...which came out something like lmop. I got to take a lovely ride in the cruiser and later tested 1.42 (legal limit was 1.0). Some lessons stay with you forever!

I hope you feel ok in the morning!

Jaime said...

You're a brave woman, Ruth!

NLBlack said...

I've never had a drink of alcohol in my life, and I don't think I would have passed that "stand on one foot" test! Too clumsy.

Ruth, I wish I could have been there to watch this! LOL!! I hope you are feeling ok today.

Still think you should have spent your "drunk time" playing hangman! I might have a chance then.

Liz said...

I would've been a mess myself! I've never been drunk so I figure 1 of those drinks you had would've had me puking w/ the young man outside! No thanks!

Matthew Simcox said...

Well, Ruth, you can be legally intoxicated and still be under .08. The prosecution must only prove that you've lost the normal use of your mental faculties or the normal use of your physical faculties. Sounds to me like you still qualify. The .08 thing is to combat those who've been building up a tolerance.

Glad you got to see that exercise though. I think everyone should do a ride-a-long with an officer at one point in their life.

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Longview, Texas
In the autumn of my life, I am very content.