When DUI Affects You

So much damage, the pic on the bottom left is the shards of glass from the drunks car

So much damage, the pic on the bottom left is the shards of glass from the drunks car

I can’t believe I missed a day of blogging. In my defense last week totally threw me for a loop. Not only were the kids all home from school on Tuesday for election day, but then also Friday for Veteran’s Day as well. Plus my husband was home on Friday. I kept thinking it was Saturday. My apologies for missing a day. I have got a story for you though to make up for it.

Saturday night (the real actual Saturday night) we had just finished eating dinner. I was desperately trying to get in some last minute work and the kids were all horsing around with my husband. Suddenly we heard this huge bang. My husband got up to see what had happened while I continued to try to crank out some work. Shortly after my husband went outside he came in and said, “Somebody just hit my car!” My first reaction was to say, “Are you kidding me?” Frustrated, my husband responded, “No, I’m not kidding you.” I asked if the other car was still out there and he told me no it was down at the bottom of the street. I said, “Did you get the license plate? Get your phone, call the police!” He said, “It’s not going anywhere.” I got my shoes on and went outside to see what was going on. My husband followed. He pointed to the car down the street where there were a bunch of people milling about.

I walked down with my next door neighbor and began putting together what had happened. When I got down the half a block or so people were saying there’s fluids all over the road and telling me get back. We were asking if everyone was okay and another car was coming up the street stopped and told me, “He’s got a gun, he’s packing.” Some lady was on the phone with the police telling them all this. I ran back to the house to grab my phone for pictures and to make sure my kids and the neighbor kids stayed in our house. The police were there within seconds. We couldn’t see all that was happening because we were staying up by the house, but we could hear the police yelling at the driver. Telling him to stop resisting.  The next door neighbor said they threw him down on the ground. A bunch of the neighbors were out looking at my husband’s car. The two people who were telling us to stay back and who had called the police were actually almost hit by them while walking down the street! If he was out a few hours earlier then he could have hit my kids and/or the neighbor kids who had just been out in front of our house playing that afternoon. If my husband had just come home from work and pulled up and parked and was either getting out of his car or still in it he could have been seriously injured, or worse killed. There’s a lot for us to be grateful for here and I am, but I am pissed right now. Thinking about the could have been and thinking about what’s ahead for us now.

No matter what you might think of the police, I for one am glad they were there and took care of this reckless dangerous person, who as far as I can tell has a long history of drinking and drugging and driving. Everything was handled by the police extremely professionally and when you stop to think of all the what if’s in this situation this kid is damn lucky that he’s not facing vehicular manslaughter charges. He is a person of color. I mention this not because I think all people of color are drunk drivers. I know plenty of white people who are guilty of the same. I say this because I was told by the ladies who called the police that when they described the passenger and the driver as two black males that seemed to rile them up more as if they were in some way discriminating against them simply by describing what they look like. Granted, they were clearly not thinking straight, but it makes me think of how much the police have to deal with to keep the streets safe in this day and age. The mere mention of a descriptor like black male sets people off. Nobody was shot that night, thankfully. Given what I know about the situation the police were forced into an extremely volatile one. They believed there was  a gun in the car, two extremely under the influence individuals who were mad at the world, and yet the police made no hesitation to protect everyone. They were extremely kind to us and made sure it was notated that our now immovable car would be staying where it was for the time being so we don’t get any tickets. Yes, it’s their job and it’s what they are trained to do, but how many of us could work under these pressures?

As near as I can tell the kid was on something or very drunk or both and came barrelling around the corner, hit my husband’s parked car, veered off to the other side of the road (or perhaps bounced off my husband’s car which was now pushed up onto the lawn that’s how hard it was hit), almost hit some other people, managed to drive half a block more driving up on the curb and hitting some rocks before finally hitting a fire hydrant and coming to a stop.

Now here we are with a car that we’ve had for less than a year and a half that my husband absolutely loved that has at best a bent axle. Much to my oldest daughter’s dismay that night I got into it with the brother of the kid who was driving the car. He was walking up the street talking to someone very loudly on the phone about how embarrassed he was because there were all these people out there looking at what was happening. He was more concerned about himself. I have been embarrassed by my brother many times over the years, if he ever did something like this I would have been apologizing profusely to all of the people he hurt. No, it’s not his fault, but I was astonished at his selfishness in a time like this. I had no idea he was the kids brother, so as far as I knew when I saw him come running down the street, he was just another looky-loo like all the others that were coming by. He drew attention to himself and his connection and then couldn’t even show any sort of sympathy for what had happened to the innocent people in the situation.

I know we owe more on the car than it’s worth. We have gap insurance thankfully, but if this car is totaled then even with that we have no way of getting a new car. My husband is also an Uber driver so in addition we are now out income because of all of this. The holidays are coming and now we are going to have who knows how much out of pocket expenses that insurance is not going to reimburse us for and less income. We have been put in extreme hardship through no fault of our own. I hope these kids had that night. I hope that they are made to pay restitution and have to reap some of the cost of damage they caused through their own reckless actions.

While out assessing the damage better in the light of day one of our neighbors came over to talk to us. He kindly offered us an extra snow blower he has for this winter in the wake of this mess. That was very generous of him. It’s nice to know that while there are terrible and very troubled people in this world that there are still decent and nice people who will do what they can to help brighten your day or make things slightly easier on you.

We lucked out in many ways. No one was injured, no one was killed. That’s the most important thing. I have always detested drunk drivers. I’m relieved that my own personal experience with a DUI is property damage and no bodily injury, but the amount of time and lost sleep we’ve already lost in dealing with the complete and utter negligence of this kid just makes me so angry. I can’t help it. I can only imagine what would have happened if the unthinkable happened. He’s 21 years old, with a history already of DUI. And yet he’s out of jail free to wander the streets. Hopefully not driving, but according to our police report he only lost his license for 24 hours. He was supposed to be in court today, but I don’t know the outcome of that. I have spent all day talking with insurance and car rentals to get my husband set up with another vehicle. Someone is coming out tomorrow to assess and determine if it’s a total loss or not. The person at the insurance company I spoke to thinks the due to the age of the car and value and judging by the pictures he thinks it’s going to be totaled. I have the feeling that we are not going to be able to get made whole by the insurance company in this matter.

So many unknowns right now. So many out of pocket expenses already. Drunk drivers are the absolute worst. What bugs me is that this 21 year old kid has pictures of himself from 5 years ago drinking and drugging. That means he’s been doing this since he was a teen and publicly at that and he’s still doing it. I’m astonished that he’s out on a measly $5000 bond right now.

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