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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Drunk driving bitch...

As we approach the New Years Eve party extravaganza, I feel that driving need to talk about drunk driving – again.

I live in a “community property” state. That means whatever is his is hers and vice versa. If a divorce takes place the property can be slip right down the middle. Assets, such as houses and cars, are sold for the cash and then the cash is divided 50%-50%. The same thing goes for the bills. All the money is added up and each much pay half of the bill to close out the account. Of course, what most likely happens is that the couple comes to some kind of amicable agreement about who actually gets or pays for what. At least, that’s what normally happens if one part of the couple isn’t driven by greed or insanity.

Let’s do a hypothetical:

You’ve been married to your spouse, Jane, for 25 years and have never entertained the thought of getting a divorce. She’s a good wife, excellent mother and fabulous lover who understands you totally and completely. Boy – those marriages are rare – aren’t you a lucky guy!!

Jane works for a travel agency and she has just closed a deal that sold out the entire cruise ship for a famous cruise line. The revenue earned is in six figures. The whole office is elated and everyone wants to celebrate the good fortune. She calls you and says she will not be able to get home for dinner, but she’s ordered take-out to be delivered so you won’t have to worry. Wow! She thought about your needs and accommodated for not being able to fix dinner. She’s the best!

The entire office group piles in their individual cars and heads up the road to a four-star steakhouse and karaoke bar. A couple of Appletini’s get things loosened up and when dinner arrives, a couple of bottles of champagne are uncorked. Talk is flowing freely, passes are made, and how about a bottle of wine to go with the prime rib? Oh – there are so many of us – we need a couple bottles. Someone is having chicken, so that’s a bottle of white. A glass of brandy with dessert and then everyone heads to the bar for some nails-on-the-chalkboard singing of “You Light Up My Life”. 

Jane deserves to have a good time and she’s partaking in it all, the appltini’s, champagne, wine, brandy and a couple drinks to get up enough courage to go on stage. She knows she’s probably had too much to drink, so she starts ordering coffee. The steakhouse is not in the best neighborhood and she doesn’t want to leave her brand new Aviator in the parking lot. She thinks if she just sits and drinks coffee for a while she’ll be fine to drive home and thereby avoid leaving her car and taking a taxi.

Just before Jane leaves the bar, she calls you to tell you she’s on her way home. You tell her, NO. Wait there, you’ll come get ner. But she insists she’s OK to drive and for you not to worry. She sounded fine, so you give in to her wishes.

An hour later, and after much flirting with the Daniel Craig-ish bartender, Jane gets into her Aviator and drives a few blocks when it happens. Jane runs a red light and slams into the driver side of a car from the cross street. She is not injured and runs from the car to help the driver from the other car. There is blood everywhere and the driver is moaning in pain. Jane calls 911 who responds quickly to her call.

Jane is arrested and taken to jail for drunk driving. The injured driver dies on the way to the hospital while Jane, in her neat little three-piece suit, primly waits inside a cell, for you to bail her out. She is stoic and remorseful that she has caused so much damage from her night of libations. But, she has never been in trouble before and isn’t sure what exactly to expect.

Fast-forward to months down the road, Jane has been to court, fined, put on probation and is moving on with her life. You’ve discovered that Jane was having an affair with the bartender at the steakhouse and you’ve filed for divorce. You are also moving on with your life. You have custody of the kids and your family home. You’ve just taken a very well paying job and look forward to vacations with the kids on the beaches of Cabo San Lucas.

But wait --- the family of the injured driver has filed a suit against Jane and her “estate” for damages resulting from the death of the driver. You think this is a hard blow for Jane, but it really has nothing to do with you even though you are also named in the suit. Jane has next to nothing in her estate to give the family of the dead driver and the two of you go to court.

The judge sits up on his high bench and you can’t believe what you are hearing. You live in a community property state and the “estate” includes everything you both own jointly and separately while you were married. The accident happened before a divorce was obtained, so you are also liable for the expenses incurred as well as Jane. The court orders a judgment in the amount of millions and you sit in amazement as you realize that you and Jane, together, must come up with this money. Your life will never, ever, be the same. Financially, you are destroyed.

Jane, your wonderfully loving and considerate wife, turned drunken adulteress, has taken your idyllic life from you and you must PAY for it. Life truly sucks.

Back to reality –

This is New Year’s Eve coming up here – like soon. Maybe it’s time to start planning on protecting yourself for the possible outfall of a night of celebrating the forthcoming fresh New Year. I’m well aware that I’m suggesting that you do what is nearly impossible to achieve. I’m suggesting that you find a way to keep the alcoholic in your life from getting behind that wheel and ruining the lives of many people – your life included.

I’m fortunate that I don’t have to worry about Riley driving. I’m a bitch about the whole car issue. I refuse to get his car registered or make it drivable. But, if he did have access to a car, I would probably be enough of a bitch to keep it from moving out of my driveway. One of the tires would mysteriously go flat, or the keys would be missing, or maybe I’d remove a couple of fuses.

I once read where a woman made one of those magnetic signs and put it on the back of her husband’s car -- just above the license plate. It read – “I’m a drunk driver. Please call 911 and stop me from killing someone.” It was in big letters and very noticeable if you just happened to be sitting at a light behind this car. Her husband drove an SUV and he never thought to look at the back of the car before leaving the house.

When the husband got out of jail, he reveled in telling all his friends about what a bitch his wife was to put that sign there and cause him to get arrested.

Her response – “I am proud to be a bitch and we are both lucky that you’ve taught me how to be one.”


Syd said...

A man was just killed by a drunk driver a little over a week ago. The drunk driver was charged with felony DUI. One life gone and one ruined by alcohol.

Gerry said...

sA young friend of mine in the complex said his cousin came home for Xmas for the first time in years, and her youngest brother wrecked while driving drunk and died. He fortunately did not take anyone else with him. But her reunion with family involved a funeral.

jo said...

it is so sad addiction takes so many lives. it is its one goal in its life..and it will do anything to achieve it.

however, i can not stop mine from driving. his rage is too dangerous. i am far too afraid of him.

btw, i had spoken to the police awhile back about this and i was told unless they have reason to stop someone (probable cause meaning they do a infraction and the officer sees it), they will not stop them to check on their ability to drive. someones word is not good enough. shrug* they will not follow them..its against the law. civil rights.

texas seems a very reactive state rather than proactive and i find this distressing, to say the least. same way with domestic violence. until your injured..dont even try to call. same with child protection. "until the child is injured...they wont do anything. when she is in the hosp,,call us" (direct quote from CPS)

now does that bartender have a brother? lol...

PA DUI Attorney said...

Great post! With one of the biggest drinking holidays coming up tomorrow, everyone should really try to make some wise choices. If you are going to be drinking, please find someone to drive you home, please don't try to be a hero and drive yourself. It will only result in tragedy.

Anonymous said...

This is a major reason I obtained a divorce from my AH. I knew I could be liable if he got into a drunk driving accident and he was racking up medical bills from detoxes like crazy. I think I could have held on longer I wasn't financially responsible for his mistakes.


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