The Long Road to the Right Side…
Let me just start off by stating you Should NEVER EVER operate your vehicle while intoxicate. EVER….
Words that I could have used in November of 2005…..
I would just like to point out at this very moment that educating people on the perils and the selfish decision to operate a vehicle while intoxicated is my main advocacy.
So there I was in November of 2005 (I had just turned 23) working Production for the first year of “Thunder in the Rockies” up in Ft. Collins. The headliners were Steppenwolf & .38 Special (please insert Classic Rock, Biker, Mullet, Redneck & Geriatric joke here) and the 40 something crowd was pumped! I on the other hand, was spending the day pretty relaxed, maybe a little bit too relaxed. The Event Manager came over to me in the catering room, where I had my feet up and half-way through a turkey sandwich and barked at me “the guys from .38 Special need a pick up from the hotel in 30 minutes”. Finally, I had something to try and cure the boredom of a relatively easy day. On the way out to my company van, I ran into my friend, let’s just call him Adrian. He looked at me and said “Whatcha doin?” “Going to get the band” I replied back. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a big fat Doobie (Doober, J, Cannon, Spliff, Joint, Rasta Cig or whatever your preference on moniker may be) and looked at me and gigled “You got 5 Minutes”. “For You” I replied, “I’ve got 10!” We hopped into the company van and proceeded to Fish Bowl that van like a scene straight outta “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” Adrian may have even fallen out of the van.
Post Session, I looked at the clock on the radio and realized it was time to take my Van and go pick up the band from their hotel. It was about a 10 minute drive, but I knew with the current state I was in, It would probably take me 15 – 20 minutes. So cautiously I drove off, ready for the world. I arrived at the Hotel with no problem what-so-ever and I was feeling pretty good about myself. Of course, the entire way over there I had the windows rolled down to try and de-skunkify the odor that was unmistakable. The Band filed into the van and I was seemingly un-impressed, their music appealed to a different generation and I felt we would have nothing to talk about. As the band filed in one of the members sat in the passenger seat right next to me, took a couple of whiffs and started to look around the van. After a minute or two he exclaimed “Is it just me or does it smell like weed in here?!” All of a sudden, some sort of cool confidence came over me and I said “Yah, I just got done (hot) boxing this fucker”. I don’t know why I admitted to it right out of the gate, maybe I just wasn’t thinking clearly. The Gentleman (who needs to remain anonymous for obvious reasons) in the seat next to me started to chuckle and a big shit eating grin came over his face. He turned to me and said “Hey, do you want this?” I looked in his hand and he had a HUGE nugget of top shelf marijuana coated in what appeared to be powdered sugar (although it was just crystallization). “Uh, yeah man, your not gonna need it?” I clumsily retorted, “No, a buddy of mine in FT. Collins who I only see when were in Colorado grows it, and I have a flight right after the show, so I need to get rid of it.” He threw it right in my lap just as the band was getting out of the van…
Not wanting to have the “Goods” on me, I immediately put it in the center console of my personal car. It was in a sandwich bag with no zipper and the temp was about 100 degrees that day .. so you do the math. By time I got out of work the inside of my car smelled like Michael Phelps had been living in it for 2 months. “Oh Well” I told myself, it’s 2AM … what could possibly happen on the ride from Ft. Collins to Denver? As soon as I pulled out of the Arena, apparently I California Stopped a red light on the frontage road, and the extremely observant Highway Patrolman who was about a mile back noticed. Of course I got pulled over, and when I was asked for my registration (which was right next to the baggie in my center console) I knew I was fucked.
Although the cops didn’t know exactly how to handle it, since I Aced my Roadside Sobriety Test, of course they arrested me on posession and charged me with DWAID (Driving while ability Impaired due to Drugs) pending a piss test which of course I failed from smoking earlier that day. I had no choice but to call my boss in Ft. Collins and have him bail me out at 3 in the morning. He was cool enough to let me crash at his place before he fired me the next day. So much for innocent until proven guilty.
Since I didn’t agree with much of what was going on, and I guess this speaks to the maturity level of a 23 year old, I gave the big Middle Finger to the whole system and didn’t even go to court or check in with Probation or anything. Now, I was a fugitive from the law and let me tell you it is a lot scarier than it seems. Do you know how hard it is to steer clear of the Police? But steer clear is what I did, for 3 Long Years, until I was picked up for Protesting at last summers Democratic National Convention. It was kind of a relief admittedly, as I wanted to get it cleared up, but I didn’t want to do any Jail time. Well, I did 48 hours in Denver City Jail .. I would have only done 24 but I got in trouble for making Dice out of Toilet Paper and running a Craps game. 😉
I am now proud(ish) to say, that I am on the home stretch of my probation period and should be wrapped up in the next week or so. A very long process it’s been and the 96 hours of community service I had to do was pretty fucking long too! Plus all the classes, fines and the general pain in the ass of having to answer to the state is something I never care to have to do again.
So, please … Let’s all have fun, hell get fucked up once in a while! But, Never Ever operate your vehicle under those circumstances. Please!! It’s not worth all of this, I was lucky as I was the only victim in my case. It’s not always that simple … So To rip off a phrase from Jerry Springer …
“Take Care of Each other and Yourselves”