Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Field Sobriety

Last Thursday I took the day off work and drove to Talladega to visit my folks. They were in town for the race and might not have a chance to stop at my place so this could be my only chance to see them this year.

I drove down in the morning. Getting up was tough because I've been working the night shift and sleeping late every day. The weather was pleasant though and it's less than 2.5 hours to make the drive.

You know you're driving through Alabama when you stop for gas and there's a couple there walking their pig. I took a photo but I don't have the card reader with me. If I remember I will add it to this post later.

My folks park their RV in the best possible spot at the track in Talladega. You can't see the track because it's banked, but they're a 3 minute walk to their seats. They walk back after the race and sit outside their RV and watch people sit in traffic for 3 hours while 140,000 people try to get out of the parking lot at the same time. They leave the next day in 5 minutes. Pretty slick.

I spent about 5 or 6 hours visiting with the folks then drove back through Alabama and when I crossed into Tennessee I took a back road to my little town. I got pulled over by a small town police officer who said he smelled "the strong odor of alcohol" from my car and asked me to perform a field sobriety test.

It's pretty humiliating standing in front of his squad car with the lights flashing while performing for him. He wanted me to stare at his finger without moving my head as he moved it around. Then he wanted me to touch my fingers to my thumb quickly while counting "one two three four" and "four three two one" as I touched each finger.

I passed his test, which is good because I think the last time I had a drink was the super bowl. I'm paranoid about getting caught drinking and driving because it seems like the goal of the government is to ruin your life if you get caught driving after you've had a drink. I enjoy a drink now and then but if I'm going to drive in the next 12 hours I skip it. I'm almost always going to drive within 12 hours so I almost never drink.

I suspect the "strong alcohol smell" is the cop's bullshit excuse to check every driver he stops. There's no alcohol smell in my car, I asked two people to smell for it after I got stopped. I don't think I've ever had alcohol in that car.

Hopefully it's just an "isolated incident" but I guess it wouldn't be a shock that there are cops around that violate the civil rights of every person they pull over at night. But it's still kind of disappointing.


TripJax said...

Good to know you have a photo of the start of the swine flu...

HighOnPoker said...

I had to take a field sobriety test before because I was driving late at night without my headlights (there are so many streetlights on Long Island, NY that you can drive on a moonless night without headlights). I hadn't been drinking, so I was actually kinda fascinated by the process. Granted, in my case, the officer had a legitimate reason to test me, but as long as you are sober, why not find the whole experience...fun. I mean, when else will you ever have to prove your sobriety when you are actually sober. I dunno. Maybe I'm crazy, but I found it to be a novelty.

pokerguy2200 said...

What you didn't say is why he pulled you over. Did he say he smelt the fumes as you drove by?