I made a mistake over seven years ago. I was living in Arizona, and on the day after Christmas I went to a bar and had a bit too much to drink. And then got in my car and drove home. I will be the first to admit that is a dumb thing to do, but as I said, I made a mistake. Ouch!
I drove for about 15 minutes, and was literally a few hundred feet from my house when I was pulled over. Ouch!
By a rookie cop who was not even sure he wanted to pull me over. Ouch!
Of course, they towed my truck to the other side of town (which in AZ means miles away). Searched it for who knows what (since I obviously am now a criminal type for partying a little too much the day after Christmas). Left it a mess of course. Ouch!
Did I mention this was a Saturday, so I now had to pay for two days storage of the truck since they are not open on Sundays. Ouch!
Went to my arraignment. I was well over the legal limit, and freely admit I made a mistake, so I was going to simply plead guilty and accept my punishment. Keep in mind this was a first (and in my mind last) offense. The judge would not let me plead guilty until I talked to a lawyer. He said the laws were mandatory and even he thought they were a bit extreme. Ouch!
Talked to a lawyer, and thus was able to get the plea bargained version of the mandatory sentence. 10 days in jail. Several hundred dollars worth of fines. Minimum of 36 hours of counseling. And a breathalyzer ignition lock in my vehicle for a year. The full version would have been 30 days in jail plus more of the rest. All for a first offense. Ouch!
Just before I served my jail time, the company I was working for for the last 3 years closed its doors. Ouch!
Served my time in Tent City ( a story of its own). Somehow managed to get home upon release. Ouch!
Now jobless, I can no longer afford my truck. So I voluntarily give it back to the Toyota. They still call it a repossession. Ouch!
I tell them that I will gladly drop it off wherever they would like me to. They say they really don’t have a specific location, so they will have someone tow it. He shows up without warning so I never get to clean out my personal belongings. Ouch!
The towing cost me almost a $1000. Then I had to pay the difference between what they expected to get from me and what they sold the truck for in auction. Ouch!
I paid my fines and did my counseling. Did NOT do the breathalyzer ignition lock. For one it costs about $1200. For another I am morally opposed to them. And The Ultimate, I did not have a vehicle any more. Ouch!
Eventually got work again. Requiring I walk a minimum of 4 miles a day. Of course this was in the Arizona summer. Ouch!
I was in Mesa at this point. The new job (this was when I was webmaster for “the cult”) decided to move up to Sedona. I could not afford to go with them, so I ended up moving back to my parent’s attic in Massachusetts. Ouch!
The company decided they still wanted me so made it possible for me to move back to Sedona. Ok, not an ouch!
Worked for them for another year or so. Managed without my license ok. But after 2 years of not driving decided to see what I could do about getting my license back. Was told that I still needed to do the breathalyzer ignition lock. When I said I don’t even own a car, they said “Buy one.” Ouch!
The job no longer needed me, and for this and a couple of other reasons (namely fed up with the world), moved back to the attic (or hid in a cave). Did not work for almost 2 years. Ouch!
I was lead to believe that my license issues would drop off my record after 5 years. So after five years of not driving, I decided to get my license in Massachusetts and rejoin the world. MA ran my records and said they won’t even talk to me until I deal with AZ. I try contacting the appropriate authorities in AZ and get no answer. Ouch!
Manage to get a job anyway. Of course it is twenty minutes away. Dad, who is retired, kindly offers to be my chauffeur. Until he is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and can no longer drive. Ouch!
Out of desperation, I drive for a while without my license. Obey all the traffic laws and drive very carefully, and predominantly just drive for necessities. The one day I try to go canoeing in New Hampshire with a friend, I get pulled over. Ouch!
The river we wanted to canoe was dry anyway. Ouch!
I stop driving. Until I get a call from the police officer in New Hampshire saying that my AZ license is actually valid now and he was tearing up the ticket. So I think as long as I use the AZ license (which was good for 30 years), I was OK in MA. A non Ouch again!
Everything was fine for several months. Then I get pulled over 2 miles for my house on a random plate check. I was doing nothing wrong, but the car is still registered to my father, who is no longer allowed to drive. Ouch!
They tow my car a few hundred yards. Costs $130 to get it back. Ouch!
Seems my licence is still no good in AZ. So now I am facing charges of driving on a suspended license in MA. Which can carry a mandatory jail sentence. Ouch!
Finally get a lawyer involved in AZ to try to get rid of it once and for all. I thought I had thrown out all my paperwork for the case, so the first thing the lawyer had to do was track down my paperwork. Cost me $500 just for that. Ouch!
Seems the court I was tried in had closed. They lost my paperwork. Eventually managed to get it all together again. Only to find I still need to do the breathalyzer ignition lock. Ouch!
A few weeks later, looking for something else (see The key to finding), I found the paperwork. Ouch!
Since I can no longer drive legally, I have not worked in a couple of months. Been house bound for that matter since the weather has not been conducive to getting out of the house. Ouch!
I have a second seasonal job. I work as bar staff for a function hall. Wedding season is starting. We only have three weddings this month, and of course they were all on the same weekend. A weekend I was also invited to a party. Ouch!
Since I have not been working and house bound, I have not really been exercising as I should. First wedding kicked my butt physically. Second wedding was a little mellower. Third wedding should have been easy except the bar broke (a water pipe blew). Ouch!
I can barely walk today.