Step Out of the Car, Please

  1. Previous entries in the DUI series can be found here.  Sara knew what she was doing. “The booze is gonna react with my pills, I bet,” she said in the passenger seat during the journey from Madison to Poynette. Her nonchalant spirit sparked a rumble of excitement behind my heart. This was my first and only high school teenage Can’t Hardly Wait house party. We were gonna get “WOO WOO FUCKINGGGGGGGG WASTED.”…

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  2. Previous entries in the DUI series can be found here.  The night I was arrested on my first drunk driving offense, I was chauffeuring a car full of teenagers and a 30-pack of beer from a keg party on the eastern outskirts of town to another keg party on the western outskirts of town. As I drove along Highway 16, I turned my attention from the road to the center console, scanning my CD…

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  3. Previous entries in the DUI series can be found here.  I grew up in a dry, Catholic family in a Midwestern state, and I was just barely beginning to secretly navigate the world of alcohol by the time I graduated high school. So I did what anyone in my position would do, and enrolled at a party school in the heart of the Bible Belt, whose beautiful campus and sweet local community made it such that…

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  4. Previous entries in the series can be found here. The sound of the tires exploding, the bottom of the car bouncing along the shoulder of the road, the screeching sound that comes with a vehicle out of control: none of that was enough to bring me out of my blackout. My car had veered off the interstate into the grass that separated it from the walled community on the other side. I was slumped…

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  5. Previous entries in the series can be found here.

    The second time I blacked out I was nineteen, back in Kentucky for winter break of my freshman year, and discovering the true meaning of homesickness. What began in my friend’s UK dorm room with whiskey and ABBA karaoke ended with me driving home completely unaware, then sobbing/vomiting so loudly that I woke my dad up.

    The next day he and I would

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  6. Previous entries in the series can be found here.

    If I put together all the times I've seen Her drunk, those scenes would make a very boring after-school special. She's never lost a job because of drinking, never set a fire, never sobbed in humiliation, begging for forgiveness for some terrible, terrible thing She did when She was drunk. But alcohol has been a big part of Her life for as long as…

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  7. Previous entries in the series can be found here. I am superstitious, so that "last" scares me. My last DUI, please Jesus, knock on wood, was in the late summer of 1998. I was driving a white 1968 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, Randy's "project car" at the time, home from the Dead Mule Social Club of downtown Chapel Hill, where we'd been putting back the Maker's. Randy himself was sunk in a wordless bubble…

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  8. Previous entries in the series can be found here. [1] Claire and I had an agenda planned for the night he hit us with his car. Our idea was to do a truncated bar crawl in downtown Santa Cruz. The first bar we'd walk to by ourselves; we'd meet up with some friends at a second bar later, where they were heading over early to secure a booth. We were celebrating an anniversary: that…

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  9. Previous entries in the series can be found here. 

    My DUI happened on a Wednesday night. Earlier in the week, my boss, the owner of a very small consultancy on the outskirts of a large city, announced that we would be having a company-wide wine tasting. After his separation the year before, he had started holding monthly wine tastings in the office, an attempt to bolster camaraderie and assuage his loneliness. He would…

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  10. Here is how I got arrested: first, I fell in love; then, three years, eight months, ten days, 12,007 emails and Gchats, innumerable texts, phone calls, and Skype sessions, three breakups and two reconciliations later, I was arrested for trespassing. The summer after my freshman year of college, I fell in love for the first time. H—— and I were together for three years, most of which was great. We learned from each other and…

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