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DUI Blues

(47 posts)
  1. cynyr

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    Let this be a warning to all of you. One DUI can ruin your life.

    A young man in my office was arrested this morning for DUI and Leaving The Scene. I should say, he was in my office, for he will be fired at 8:00 Monday. He's a good kid with lots of ability, and he could have retired from this position with a nice pension. But he made a couple of stupid decisions, and now he's gonna be unemployed.

    It could have been worse. He could have hurt or killed somebody. Come on, guys... just don't do it. Bond, legal fees, loss of license and income, the very real possibility of death for you or some innocent - it ain't worth it, y'all.

    Nobody is going to cut you a break, or follow you home, or just lose the paperwork. Actions have consequences.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. cortezattic

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    I'll second that!

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. voorhees

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    Agreed. While I did drive a few times "lit", I don't find any pride in doing it. The consequences can be terrible.

    Jason
    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. tuold

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    Also agreed. When I was in Japan there was NO tolerance for drunk drivers. Even now, if I've had even one beer at dinner I'm not driving. It's just not worth the risk.

    The pipe is an instrument of civilization.
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Been there, done that. At one time nobody cared. Even if you were in an injury/fatal accident, all you were charged for was the accident. Get stopped? Your keys were taken away until shift change, or you were given a ride home. I remember one instance where I was too drunk to stand up, and the deputy FOLLOWED me and my passengers home to make sure we got there safely.

    We as a society changed our thinking on this a few years later. I got one (DUI) in 1981, and lost my license for a year. Thinking I was immune to consequence, I continued to drive. Got pulled a second time and had been drinking then too. Guess what? Six months in jail for DWI and Driving on Suspended. Lesson finally learned.

    It's nearly 35 years later, and still can be a problem. I will never hold a position that involves a security clearance. I do not believe that I am welcome in Canada. Political office above a town council is out of the question. I figure that conservatively over those years my bad choices cost me at least $1M in salary earnings for jobs and advancement that I could not compete due to the record. But when one is drinking, critical and logical thinking flies out the door.

    In my own small experience I have my mistakes, a mother that died as a result of her driving drunk, a daughter who carries the record and concience of a felony DUI manslaughter conviction, and friends whose lives have been cut short or seriously changed by their actions--or the choices of others.

    Having worked for nearly 15 years in one manner or another of alcohol and substance abuse community--I interacted with thousands whose lives were permanently effed up by drinking, drugging, and driving. Seems like such a small thing--with huge consequences.

    There is a social play going on in Tejas right now involving Rick Perry and a litigator who was convicted of DUI and refused to give up her job. Probably will not work out well for the former idiot. Most folks do not enjoy the benefits that the latter had. But the further one is up the food chain, the less the cost.

    When physics are part of what occurred though, there are NO winners--only losers. Don't drink and drive.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. daveinlax

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    Yeah DUI/OWI are stupid and expensive but why is he being fired? In most places a first offense is a violation not a crime. People get arrested for a lot of things everyday and don't lose their jobs. A good defense attorney can work wonders.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    ^^^ I would make a guess that "Leaving the Scene" wiped out any redemption for the young man.

    Doing something like that speaks volumes about an individual's underlying character and sense of responsibility.

    Not someone I would really want working for me either...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. cynyr

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    ae1pt- That is a cautionary tale to end them all! I'm glad you put the responsibility where it belongs, and that you are now clear-headed.

    daveinlax - He was a police officer. Was.

    EDIT: My wife affirms that a teacher in her system would be fired, as well.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. mso489

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    I hope this young person can put his life back together on a more responsible footing. The trouble
    is, if you cut people slack, they assume you are winking at the behavior. Then someone dies of their
    problem. If you need to get good and drunk, stay home. Better yet, find a different way to cheer up.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    mso, you hit it on the head. That was the attitude 30-40 years ago. People rung up 4, 6, 12 DWI/DUI convictions before anyone in the justice system paid real attention. One could rack up multiple convictions and move between states without any fear of the record catching up with them--even garnering a new DL after a lifetime revocation in another state. We condoned drinking and driving as a necessary social evil to the culture of socialization.

    America, outside of VERY LARGE metropolitan areas lacks proper and accessable public transit. If I am in NYC, D.C., Chicago, L.A., so on and so forth--standing tipsy at the curb will give me multiple taxi opportunities in just a few minutes. Most smaller places one must call and wait...

    This is also true of subways, metro bus, and trains to the suburbs. We developed a culture of partying, clubbing, and barhopping. This was right alongside the rise of the auto after WWII.We used to laugh at drunken behavior. Remember Foster Brooks and many other comics of the 50s and 60s?

    Remember Foster Brooks?

    Having been faculty and administration at a major University--I found that excessive drunken behavior is still the order of the day for a segment of young people--often with life changing consequences. But at that age, we are all finding and validating who we are and are obviously immortal. Forget about all the accidents, sexual violations, physical violence, injuries, and death that occurs...

    What makes me the angriest in today's society is the failed "war on drugs" that demonizes marijuana, and ignores the HUMONGOUS social cost of alcohol. I have yet to meet a LEO--have them in family, friends, and colleagues--that ever responded to a call involving domestic violence, murder, fatal collisions, robbery, child molestation, etcetera--whereby the alleged perpetrators were smoking weed. This excludes gang violence over dealing. Stupid, isn't it?

    A couple weeks ago, I had lunch with Sen. Cory Booker of NJ. He made one statement that really stuck in my head. We now have more Black Americans in prison for non-violent drug offenses than were enumerated on the 1850 U.S. Slave Census. How many abusive, repetitive, dangerous, and violent citizens that vomited their particular venom on society through their misuse of alcohol? Yeah....

    We said in the recovery community that alcohol is the universal solvent. Sure, it dissolves inhibitions and panties. It also dissolves bank accounts, jobs, careers, marriages, families, relationships, credibility, responsibility, opportunity, and success. And more. I still drink, and enjoy fine wine, beer, and Irish Whiskey. Get stupid and drive? Engage in 'dialing while drunk?' Not so much anymore.

    As they say, too soon old, too late smart...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. newbroom

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    We've seen some changes in social attitudes over these last 50 or 60 years. One of my early childhood role models was Dean Martin. I just loved Juliette Prouse and Leslie Uggams. (ok, it wasn't THAT early)It's ok and funny if you're a bit tipsy! You can even enjoy a cigarette while you drink and tell jokes.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. doctorthoss

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    I doubt very much that it says a lot about a young person's responsibility, other than that your co-workers is a young person. Young people don't have the experience to make the right decisions all the time, which is why we generally don't urge 60-year-olds to go to 16-year-olds for life lessons.
    Yes, he made a mistake. He should pay the legal consequences for it. But I don't believe a first offense DUI should lead to one losing one's career. I think, in fact, that is an obscene overreaction. My company's policy is quite different: a single DUI will trigger a substance abuse screening (and, if necessary, rehab) but does NOT lead to termination. A second offense would most certainly trigger a firing, but not the first. People make mistakes. The overwhelming majority of people in our society drink alcohol, and my guess is that the overwhelming majority have gotten behind the wheel at least once with a BAC over the legal limit. That doesn't make such behavior right, but I would hope it would put such things in a larger -- and more merciful -- perspective.

    "Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the wise cannot see all ends. -- J.R.R. Tolkien
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    In law enforcement and criminal justice being found guilty of any charge that carries any jail time is a terminable offense.

    Getting fired today at 8am is kind of a knee jerk reaction though. Any department worth a damn would not terminate until the individual had been found guilty and sentenced by the court. Worst case scenario would be paid leave until sentencing, then termination.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. northernneil

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    I know a guy who fled the scene after a drunk driving accident and was actually able to avoid the DUI because he was not actually caught at the scene drunk, thus no proof. Also, this same individual got in abother drunk driving accident and was officially arrested at the scene. Fortunately for him, he had enough money ($12000) for a good lawyer, and they dropped the DUI charge due to conflicting witness stamements.
    He has since turned his life around, so I'm glad the DUI didn't destroy his life. But he was only able to do it without the black stain because of money. If the guy was poor, or not as well off as he was, he would have been screwed.
    Also, all his accidents were not involving other people, just light poles and parked cars.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. purplemotoman

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    I am not sure about the firing right away but he is/was law enforcement and should remember he is in the public eye.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I think that many are missing something here--that amidst the discussion of "giving the young man a second chance" only cynyr and I have noted.

    1. Law Enforcement Officer
    2. Driving Under the Influence
    3. Leaving the scene of an accident

    If it were just #2, I would agree that suspension without pay, demotion, desk duty, etcetera--and completion of DUI school/professional counseling might be in order.

    But leaving the scene in an attempt to elude arrest and prosecution? Not so much, and no better behavior than those he is sworn to protect citizens against. Just my opinion though...

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Leaving the scene is the deal breaker. Dumb.

    Because of what I do and how my licensing works I have a simple rule. Two drinks - I drive......... Three or more it's taxi, bus, train, on foot (on applies to Hotel bar) ANYTHING but drive myself. I also have this rule if I go out with multiple people and carpool. We either have a True Designated Driver or it's a taxi ......both ways.

    Not only is my license suspension not worth it.........I don't need a drunk person walking in front of me or me being hit by another drinking, exposing me as a drunkard. Simple, safe and for the 20 years ........... Foolproof. I know because I'm the fool.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    you cannot terminate someone for committing a crime they haven't been convicted of
    this guy will get everything he loses due to immediate termination back plus damages if he takes it to court
    the person responsible for the termination will take quite a bit of heat over the publicity and embarassment caused from the people they answer to

    I've worked in criminal justice for 11+ years. In our department, depending on the severity of the case, you'd either continue working until sentencing, or be placed on paid administrative leave until you'd been found guilty in court, then terminated. Law enforcement and criminal justice is all about legal liability. City, county and state governments do not want to be liable for the misconducts committed by their employees, so there are very strict guidelines they follow in order to eliminate or reduce the liability and negative exposure from these incidents.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    ^^^ And then there is that...

    C&D is dead to rights on what he wrote. All that 6th Amendment stuff, wrongful termination--lotta quicksand here boys and girls!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. captainsousie

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    Paid administrative leave (innocent until proven guilty) is not generally considered an acceptable stance in the USA when it comes to law enforcement or teachers. Remember the outrage about it in NYC where the teachers reported to holding areas until their cases were decided?

    That said...Agreed, DUI is not a good thing at all from any standpoint. Leaving the scene as well? Even worse. However bad the situation is though, the brass needs to wait for a court verdict or a plea before termination of employment.

    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  21. cynyr

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    It's all a very interesting debate, and a lot of good questions have been raised and answered. However...

    Here's a guy I have worked beside for years, and whom I counted as a friend.

    We have a zero-tolerance policy that every employee understands. He was terminated for cause at 8AM this morning.

    And that, as the man says, is all I got to say about that.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. txbeerboy

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    ae1pt thanks for pointing out that mess in Austin, TX. I enjoyed watching the video of that old battle ax getting arrested.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. txbeerboy

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    After looking at her I don't think any one has been locked up long enough to ask her to pick up the soap either.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    After looking at her I don't think any one has been locked up long enough to ask her to pick up the soap either.

    Ummm, even though she looks a bit like she might belong in the male population side, she would probably beat up anyone that tried. Besides, it is well known that men are not her preference. That is another reason Perry hates her. I would think that the female population would have more to fear from her...

    And frankly, if old "My Way or the Highway" Rick were to be locked up he probably would not have much to worry about either if he dropped the soap...

    Spending the few minutes I did thinking about all this, I now feel a need to pour Clorox over myself...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. txbeerboy

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    ae1pt

    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. smeigs

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    agreed. Unfortunately DUI's are pretty common where I work and it is hard to see people throw away everything for something that is so easily avoidable. A cab is a heck of a lot cheaper than loosing your job and future and having to start all over again. Our employer has actually started up a deal with a company that will come and pick you up, as well as pick up your vehicle and take you both home. Pretty sweet idea and it makes it easier and more convenient to go out and enjoy yourself.

    “A pipe in the mouth makes it clear that there has been no mistake–you are undoubtedly a man.”
    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. yaddy306

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    Thankfully it's only happened a couple of times at our department, but the person accused has been on paid suspension while awaiting trial, for the reasons cakeanddottle gave above.

    To fire someone before they have been found guilty in court is contrary to the principle of "innocent until proven guilty". That basic principle should apply to everyone equally, including teachers and police officers. Even suspensions without pay are punitive, and not in keeping with "innocent until proven guilty".

    That being said, if found guilty the teacher or police officer can expect to get fired, whereas those in other occupations may not. And they should be fired, in my mind, because they've not only committed a crime but have breached the trust of the public.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  28. drwatson

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    Ahh! Couple days old on this thread, but have to step in here. As someone who works for the Goverment, and as someone who also does not have any sympathy for DUI/DWI/OVI. I do also believe that people are SOMETIMES deserve and 2nd chance. After all if you take some pain killers for a surgery and hit a parked car, should we take your job? I think this country in its race to become more tolerant on so many issues, is actually become less so. We are becomeing a society of "I'm better than you's" Now I'm not saying that if someone is caught in the middle of a murder, and there is no doubt, we should rub their shoulders and tell them it's not their fault because mommy and daddy didnt show them more love. On the contrary take them out to the shed, as our courts are too overloaded anyway. But I do believe that he without sin (or in this case misjudgement) be the first to cast the first stone.

    John
    Posted 4 years ago #
  29. buffalopat

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    Losing your job for something like this is actually pretty common. I'm an insurance agent, have my insurance license in 42 states. If I get a DUI, even without leaving the scene, I lose my license and lose my job. Hopefully this young man learns from this mistake and can move on with his life.

    Posted 4 years ago #
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    plateauguy

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    What a shame, but he made his decisions - bad ones and paid the price. At least he's not up for manslaughter and watching a family grieve.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  31. johnnyreb

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    Lots of company's have a clause for DUI spelled out in their employee handbooks. It was started I think by insurance companies requiring a DUI clause on anyone who's job description required them to drive company cars & trucks. I have driven company cars for years and now I have to furnish the company with a photocopy of my drivers license every 6 months and sign a release allowing their insurance carrier to check my driving record whenever the policy renews. Doesn't matter even if the DUI occurred in your own private vehicle on your own time. It's an automatic dismissal. Now it's carried over to all employees regardless of position, probably being pushed by the health insurance carrier as well. It goes right along with any random drug testing policy.

    Rebels been rebels since I don't know when
    Posted 4 years ago #
  32. doctorthoss

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    I somehow missed that the young man in question is a law enforcement officer. Sorry! There is a different standard for LE, although I'll admit I've never been comfortable about a "one-strike-you're out" policy on nonviolent episodes. Yes, he left the scene of an accident -- he was drunk, ergo his judgement was impaired (which is why you shouldn't drive drunk in the first place).
    I also doubt it's smart to fire the guy before his case is resolved, although I have known of departments to do so when they felt confident enough of a conviction. I don't think that's the right thing to do, mind you, but it has been done before.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  33. 12pups

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    Doubt it's changed, but as a pilot, used to be if you got a drunk driving conviction, you also lost your pilot's license... or had to get a pretty good attorney to let you keep it.

    That said, I wonder how many of us have driven while plastered but didn't get busted. Just got lucky we weren't stopped? I remember being woken up by a girlfriend after having driven myself to the airport to sleep it off on a couch there. She had hunted for me out of her mind half the night. I don't remember leaving my house, though.

    I don't do it today. In fact, picking her and her friends up at a bar one night to give them a ride home, a cop parked just kitty-corner from the bar watched them falling down and climbing up each other, trying to make it to our minivan. He followed us right away, thinking he was going to get us off the street. Cherried me as I made the turn a block away to head for home. When I rolled down the window for him, he was shining his flashlight in and asked, "You have a taillight that doesn't stay on. I saw it winking on and off. Have you had anything to drink tonight?"

    No, sir.

    "You haven't had any alcohol tonight?"

    No, sir.

    "Then why do I detect a strong smell of alcohol from inside your vehicle?"

    I haven't had anything to drink tonight -- but those three are smashed.

    "Okay, then. Be safe. And have your taillight checked. It seems to be working at the moment, but get it looked at tomorrow."

    Thank you, sir.

    It's a rule for us: One of us drinks, then the other, pop only.

    Yet I know I've been guilty in the past. I was just lucky I wasn't busted. Counting my blessings while unable to feel all that haughty about it. I really should have had to pay the price that night I don't remember leaving home. Makes me sick to think what could have happened to me or anyone else on the streets that night.

    A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. -- Carl Jung
    Posted 4 years ago #
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    A buddy of mine is a retired CHP officer, he told me a story...paraphrased.

    I was on patrol outside of Hollister California one summer day, when I stopped at a convenience store to get a cup of coffee. I couldn't help but notice a few tykes with their grandparents in the store, the kids were really excited to be going on a trip with grandpa and grandma. I spoke to the grandparents, they were taking the kids to Disneyland while mom and dad celebrated their wedding anniversary on a cruise. I tousled the boys hair, and bid them good bye and to have a safe trip.

    A few minutes later, I got a call to respond to a traffic accident just a few miles from where I was patrolling, and I came upon the scene of two dead kids and two dead grandparents, the broken lifeless bodies of the kids was too much to bear, grandma lingered for a few minutes calling for her grandkids....the drunk driver that caused the accident was pretty banged up but he was going to recover from the injuries he sustained. All I could think of was the hellish nightmare that was going to mark the marriage anniversary of the childless, parentless couple.

    This guy wore handcuffs as tightly as they could be put on him, and I couldn't wait to get home to my wife and kids to hug them. prior to that, I never had a problem with "having a couple beers" and driving..that practice ended abruptly after the incident.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  35. jeepnewbie

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    Trailboss,

    That is the saddest thing I have read in a while. My step father is a firefighter and has seen some pretty horrific things also, those are two jobs I don't think I can handle. After losing a cousin to drunk driving when I was a kid (his friends walked away after a few days), I swore to never drink and drive. I'll have a drink once in a blue moon, but thats about it, and I won't go near my vehicle.

    "Keep it Classy"
    Posted 4 years ago #
  36. crazypipe

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    Show him you care, and keep him.
    We were all young once and did dumb things, don't ruined his life.
    What goes around comes around.

    Posted 4 years ago #
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    It is so true! When my uncle was charged for DUI, his whole family had to suffer. I found a good for him. He used to earn while driving a taxi and it was important for him to get back to work for his family. Glad that he didn’t make same mistake ever again.

    Link edited by Zack

    Posted 7 months ago #
  38. hoosierpipeguy

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    Old thread but one that's a good reminder to everyone I think. About 12 years ago,seems like just about everyone I knew nearby got hit with a DUI. A couple were fairly close friends, one rather wealthy. I watched how they suffered for the next six months. I made a decision this was not going to me.

    I wasn't a heavy drinker by any means but there were certainly times I could have been ticketed had I been pulled over.. At first, i rationed myself to one beer every one to one and a half hours. As time went on, I discovered I really wasn't missing it. It would be extremely rare now for me to go out and have more than one beer or a glass of wine The place of mind in driving home with no fear or stress is priceless. Having not awakened with a hangover in a dozen years has been rather nice as well. I'll go to pool league these days and often not have one drink. I honestly don't miss it.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  39. mikethompson

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    It is interesting how sensibilities have changed over the years. My in-laws told me stories when they were in their 20s (mid 70s), it was almost a joke to be driving drunk. Like if you woke up and your car was parked sideways across your lawn, everyone knew you had a good time last night.

    Different time now for sure.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  40. zack24

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    I was trying to figure out why a 4 year old thread was resurrected.....and it turns out someone with one post inserted a link to a DUI attorney....I'll let this run...but edited his post....

    Posted 7 months ago #
  41. folanator

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    With all the texting, snap chatting, video conferencing and Tindering going on while people drive, I am of the opinion that I should be allowed a wet bar in the back of my Benz. (tic)

    Posted 7 months ago #
  42. jpmcwjr

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    Thanks for the explanation! I was wondering what in the world would account for a new guy, now gone, to post one message in a zombie thread. Now I know.
    Interesting thread, btw.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 7 months ago #
  43. lawdawg

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    We've gone from one extreme to the other: it was once "no big deal" to drive drunk, yet now, it's nearly a capital offense in the eyes of many members of the public. It seems like overkill to fire a guy from his job because he got a DUI, unless the job involves driving. Would he have been fired if he was driving recklessly while sober? What about if he had exercised some other form of unsafe bad judgment? Everyone makes mistakes and bad decisions at some point. While driving intoxicated should come with legal consequences and financial penalties, losing ones job over it is a penalty which is disproportional to the offense.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Well, I'll give him a little credit for creative diligence in marketing. Shows more effort than spamming a seniors' bridge-playing forum with "Buy cheap for you straight from Bulgarian mob fake documents okay!!!!!"

    A man who serves his country is a patriot. A man who serves his government is an employee. The two are not always the same thing.
    Posted 7 months ago #
  45. peckinpahhombre

    peckinpahhombre

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    I should also like to add the concept of DIY Blues - this is where you attempt home rennovations while under the influence. The results can be nothing short of ghastly. You now have all been warned and I urge you to govern yourselves accordingly.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  46. npod

    npod

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    Neal
    Posted 7 months ago #
  47. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Photos, photos, gotta document the disaster!

    Posted 7 months ago #

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