Sunday, June 6, 2010

Drunk Drivers and Stupid Drivers

Drunk Drivers and Stupid Drivers are one in the same.

Early this morning two Miami-Dade Police Sgts were plowed down by a drunk stupid woman who decided she could drink and drive (although not proven in a court of law yet). She didnt kill them. Lucky. But, I just heard on the news one of the officers, Sgt. Laurenceau who is 35 years old may be paralyzed. Stupid stupid stupid.

Here's the story:

Police Officers Hit By Drunken Driver
Officers Hospitalized In Serious Condition

POSTED: Saturday, June 5, 2010
UPDATED: 6:24 pm EDT June 5, 2010
MIAMI -- Two Miami police sergeants were hospitalized Saturday after being hit by an impaired driver.
The Miami Police Department said Sgt. Robert Laurenceau and Sgt. Orlando Villaverde were conducting a search for a robbery suspect just before 3 a.m. when they were hit.
The two were standing near a police perimeter at Northwest 17th Avenue and Northwest 41st Street when the Ford Taurus headed toward them.
Police said that's when the driver struck the officers and then crashed into the police cruiser they were standing next to.
Both officers were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Laurenceau, 35, suffered head injuries, possible broken bones, and spinal cord injuries and had to undergo surgery.
Villaverde, 45, suffered several broken ribs and a broken clavicle.
They were last listed in serious but stable condition.
The driver of the car, Mary Lindsay, was arrested and charged with two counts of driving under the influence.

I don't understand drunk driving. Especially nowadays. There is so much literature and examples out there about how it doesnt end well on a daily basis. If you dont kill yourself or someone else its a minimum of $10,000.00 and countless hours of court, comunity service and counseling just to get your license back. Not to mention your insurance is fucked up insane high for a few years.

I have been out partying and there has been a few times I've gotten schnockered AND STILL knew well enough NOT to DRIVE. Maybe its the fact that as a 21 year old I should have died.

23 years ago this month I was at the after party of a wedding and made a bad decision. I was drunk. Very drunk. You know that drunk you get by drinking steady all afternoon into the evening at the open bar at the reception?? Then going to the after party and drinking tons of beer while losing at Chandelier Quarters?? Yeah, the kind of drunk that causes you to go puke all the beer up so you can go back to play and drink more?? Yeah, that drunk. But I still remember everything.

I made the bad decision to get in the car with 3 other drunks (yes the driver was one of them) and go get more beer. Maybe it was the chance for a ride in a Porche 911 Turbo that made me, maybe it was stupidity gone amuck.

We made it to the bar alive and in one piece without killing anyone and picked up a case of beer. I remember being amazed when we put the beer in the trunk that it was in the front(!) of the car and the engine was in the rear. Alls well so far! On our way back the driver took Spring Street. Why is beyond me because we were going in the wrong direction from the party. Hind sight tells me he was going to show off a bit. This road was a residential street, posted at 30mph and curvy as shit. Really bad idea.

I was in the back seat behind the passenger. I was annoyed because I wanted to ride in the front seat but the dude that went with us was 300+lbs and there was NO way he was fitting in the back seat of this car. Shit, I barely fit back there and I was normal sized then.

Once he made that turn onto the street he proceeded to red line 1st, 2nd AND almost 3rd gear on his way to the estimated 120 mph we were going when he couldn't navigate the curve and we hit and snapped the first telephone pole on our way to the second. I remember looking out the front windshield as we were ready to hit that first pole and saying "Oh Shit!" and tucking my head. Even though I know my eyes were closed I saw the light and sparks from the transformer hitting the ground. I heard it too. The explosion of 3 M80's inside your head prolly describes it pretty well. Its a good thing we went thru that pole as the transformer landing on the roof could of done some serious injury to the body.

We proceeded to go thru a fire hydrant and two signs before we hit and cracked the second telephone pole. It was the second pole hit that caused me to hit my head which knocked me out. Mercifully. I missed the jaws of life, extrication and seeing a lot of people I knew. I was not on the first aid squad at the time, but I was friends with a lot of them in my town and the surrounding towns.

We all should have died that night. Who lives thru a crash at 100mph much less 120mph?? C'mon. Stupid. The fact that we were drunk probably saved our lives. Stupid dumb luck.

Prior to that accident had I drank and drove?? Sure. But never more than a beer, early in the night on my designated driving night. My friends and I always had designated drivers. Our policy was to draw straws, highest or lowest card or any number of games and the sucker who got DD, GOT IT. None of my friends were with me at that wedding or party that night. The accident solidified for me that ANY drinking and driving are a big no no.

So have I been stupid?? Yes. I told Lauren this story when she turned 16 and was getting ready to get her drivers license. I showed her this pic. Tried to make her understand how stupid I was and how one bad decision should have killed me. I got lucky. That was in June of 1987. I got pregnant with Lauren 4 months later. To think of all that might not have been had I not been so lucky.


Old NFO said...

Honesty works... Thanks for sharing your story, and yes y'all were VERY lucky.

Southern Sage said...

Yeah I have done it. And rode with drunks wayyyyyyyyyyyyy more'n that. Stupid is co-rect

Lucky indeed.

In3Dee said...

Wow. I'm glad you made it through that. What a story to be able to tell your kids, or friends. Looking at that picture.... damn.

Linnnn said...

What the hell? I can't imagine life without you and Lauren here amongst us. Your angel was keeping you that night, and I sure will be sharing your post with my kids...

Gad, Paula, i have goosebumps.

My word verification to get this post dropped in your comments is "wing me." Your angel is affirming my assumption.

Sisu said...

Thanks for the chills this morning! I was just discussing this same thing with a friend the other day...because I was the drunk driver many times and how very, very lucky I amd my friends turned out to be.

And had I seen that piture without the backstory my comment would have been "No one made it out of that one." Glad everyone did!

Michael Morse said...

If you are lucky enough not to kill somebody while driving drunk it's just another night. Should fate be not so kind it turns into a night like no other, one that changes everything, for you, the victim or victims, your future, or lack thereof and the future of anybody dependent on you.

It's amazing how full the roads are of impaired drivers, but only the ones who crash are considered the monsters. We condemn them as murderers, look at them as if they are lower human beings, lock them up with the smug feeling that justice was served. Not because that drank and drove, oh no we all have done that, wink, wink. Rather because they are lowly miscreants whose irresponsibility caused us harm.

Talk about a miscarriage of justice.

Horrible crash Peedee. I remember a night when I was under twenty driving one twenty in my Firebird, cooler full of beer, car packed with kids, seven of us I believe, and driving to the beach, forty miles away after the bars closed. I recall thinking how great I was that we made the trip in about twenty minutes.

What an idiot. I could have been a mass murderer. Instead, I drank some more. Life is weird. I'm glad we were fortunate enough to live and learn.

Momma Fargo said...

Powerful post. Thanks for sharing. Glad you made it through that. And a great life lesson and I admire you so much for sharing it the way you did with your kiddo. You rock!

Ann T. said...

Dear peedee,
This is a GREAT post. It makes me remember the nights we drove around, too. Eventually we wised up. I also remember a night when I thought my husband would cause a riot. I got him home and took the keys.

The next day he apologized and that was our no-crash, no-riot lesson for life.

You are a brave and wonderful person to share.


Holy shit my word verification is paribels.

the observer said...

Yeah, I say Amen to both the honesty and the glad you survive. I look back to a few stoopid moves of my own, but by and large, I avoided driving under the influence--really.

It's amazing what's out there for other drivers. For example there is a mind boggling number of people who drive with suspended/revoked license. These folks are about 20% more likely to have a crash.

Be on your TOES people!

Glad we all survived!

peedee said...

Yes NFO & Sage, dumb luck has its purpose.

In3Dee, I'm glad I made it too! ;) I went and saw the car the following week when I got out of the hospital. I darn near puked on the spot. No lie.

Yeah, Linnn, my Dad says we all had angels watchin over us that night. Show ur kids, your kids friends, anyone who may think twice once seeing that picture.

The front of the car was in that big dudes lap Sisu. He very well could have saved my life. I dont think I'd have fared as well had I been in the front seat.

Very true Michael, the lives affected are way more than just those in the cars or on the street that fateful day.
But I'm not sure I get what your saying about the miscarriage of justice. Its a crime and justice should be served.
And yes, I'm glad we survived ourselves as well.

Its funny Momma, I used anything and everything, including my own stupidity to get my point across to my kid about many different subjects. From this accident to the drugs I did and why I thought they really screwed up my drive and made me lose sight of my dream of being a doctor to how she came to be on this earth and why her father was not apart of her life.
She and I have always been honest with each other. How could I expect her to be honest with me if I wasnt honest with her?? I've been more honest with that kid than anyone else in my life. True story.

Annie, we all did stupid things and thank goodness we wised up. Eventually. ;) I'm not so brave. Believe me. lol And nice word ver. lol

Thanks The Observer I'm glad too! And kudos to you for never doing what so many of us have.
And is that a real statistic on the revoked drivers thing?? I wonder why that is??

Thanks everyone for stopping by. As usual you all rock!

Linnnn said...

"Wing me" and "parabels." Ok ok! Paula and Lauren have a couple of chatty guardian angels! Should've known they'd have a couple of characters watching over them! Peace everyone.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

You WERE lucky.

Two of my friends in LE were not so lucky.

One died when he was struck from the rear, adjacent a freeway, at roughly 45+ mph by a drunk. He was standing between the trunk of his unit, lights on at night, and the front of the car driven by the drunk. He was radically bisected at the waist and exsanguinated in less than 30 seconds, pinned between two cars, laying, face up, on the trunk, still holding his cite book, looking at the stars, eyes open.

That was in 1999.

Another friend, Paul DeRouen, was struck in 1986 by another drunk driver, this time in the delta area of our county, in the fog, when he was wrestling with a suspect. Out of that accident he lost an entire leg and his hip. He died in 2008 from continuing medical complications from that event.

When I drink, I drink at home. Period. And I go nowhere. I NEVER drink "out" any more.


Red Shoes said...

I don't think Ive ever driven drunk... I have blogged a few times under the influence... :oD

... however, my daughter was a danger... to others... to herself... she was stopped for DUI four times in about 1 1/2 years... convicted twice... I have no idea why she wasn't convicted each and every time...

After her last DUI, I went to see her... and handed her a notebook... and asked her to write out for me what she wanted. She was confused and asked me for clarification. I told her that I wanted her to explain what kind of funeral she wanted.. what music she wanted at her funeral... because when she killed herself, I wouldnt be able to function... and that I needed that before hand...



the observer said...

I wasn't exactly right about the dangered of the suspended/revoked driver. It's even worse. Here's a link to a study...

Hat tip to KCPD Chief Corwin's blog.

Michael Morse said...

I was in a bit of a snit yesterday, the miscairagge of justice thing is my reaction to things like "attempted murder" being less of a crime if the guy you shot somehow lives. Saame thing as drunk driving, if you kill somebody, you're a murderer, if not, a drunk driver.

peedee said...

lol Linnn! Only the best for me and my kid!

So sorry about your friends BZ. Both horrid situations for real.
I guess its good that you only imbibe at home. But I hardly drink at home. Well, if we have a party I guess I do. But I cant ever remember having a drink just to drink it at home by myself. I'm a social drinker. And although I post my antics on here, its really not that often. Well maybe it is. hmmm. Since Lauren left the house after high school it has been more often than it was. ;)

Hi Shoes! Thanks for stopping by. And thats pretty sad about your daughter. I guess the positive is she didnt kill anyone or herself. I hope she's changed her ways. I think I would have said the same thing to my daughter had she done the same things.

And I parused the study The Observer. Pretty interesting. I'm not gonna lie, I've driven on a suspended license before. When I did, it made me much more cautious if anything. ::sigh:: I'm draggin out all my skeletons lately. =/

And I thought thats what you meant Michael. Hope you had a better day today. ;)

xoxo all.

Mrs. Bunker said...

I too had moments of drunken stupidity, I'm so lucky, and I shudder to think that my kids are going to have to repeat my footsteps. My weaving footsteps. damn.

peedee said...

Tell them to call you Edith. No questions asked, no anger at the time, and its to be discussed (if needed the next day). Just TELL THEM TO CALL YOU if they need a ride. Befriend their friends and offer the same. That way they wont get in the car with a drunk.
Lauren called twice. Two BEST phone calls I ever got from her.

Linda Medrano said...

I've never driven drunk, but I've ridden with drunk drivers, (including an ex husband). Scary stuff. To me, if there's driving to be done, there is NO alcohol ever. At home I may get looped and that's fine, (or at my next door neighbor's), but in a car, nada! That's just my rule. My nephew was in a bad accident and I picked him up a the Police Station when he was 17. Him being drunk may have saved his fool life that night (he hit a light pole) but it could have cost someone else's. Just not worth it, know what I mean?