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Could This Happen to You?

| Oct 6, 2014
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By Anonymous

I’ve been going out for twelve years now and to be honest I’ve done plenty of drinking and driving along the way. I’ve had my fun and often find myself thinking that it’s time to go home but “I just don’t want the evening to end.” That thought is particularly strong when I’ve not been able to get out for an extended period of time. So when I get to the release the genie from the bottle I sometimes just overdo the fun. It feels so good at the time and I’ve always managed to get home (or back to the hotel) without incident.

Last night was different.

It was 12:30 a.m. and I was only about two miles from my house. The Friday night had started innocently enough — a Cosmo and dinner at a nice restaurant –another Cosmo at a local bar a few miles down the road and then back home by 10 p.m. But that wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t want the evening to end. I came home, changed outfits and went to a local hotel bar for a nightcap. A guy at the bar flirted with me and soon a third Cosmo was followed by a fourth. Now, it really was time to go home. I could feel the booze but I wasn’t slurring my speech or having trouble walking in heels. But I also knew I needed to get back to the house.

PoliceLights2Frankly, I was totally surprised by the siren and the flashing blue and red lights behind me. Where did that cop come from? I couldn’t believe this was happening to me.

I rolled down the window as I pulled into a local farmer’s driveway. There was plenty of space to park but the policeman pulled his car into a position that the rear of his patrol car was still out on the highway. I thought it was odd, but only later realized that he was positioning the car so his dashboard video camera would capture the entire stop.

“Did you realize you crossed the centerline of the highway back there?” he said as he established Probable Cause for making the stop. I told him I was just changing the station on the radio and was temporarily distracted. He looked at me with that, “wow. I’ve never heard that one before. Check.” Then he asked, “Where were you coming from?” “Dinner” I said. “That was a long time ago, wasn’t it? Did you have something to drink tonight?”

“Yes,” I said. “I had a couple of glasses of wine.”

He handed my registration and insurance cards back to me as his back-up officer arrived. Now I had two police cars with flashing lights parked behind me and the lights were blinding.

“Please get out of the car, sir,” he said.

“Please, just call me ma’am,” I said. “Ma’am,” said the cop, correcting himself.

“Ma’am, I saw you swerve to remain in your lane tonight (the Probable Cause statement) and you’ve told me you had been drinking (the link to the next step) so I want to determine if you are impaired. I want you to walk the white line, keeping one foot in front of the other for eight consecutive steps, turn around and walk in the same manner for eight consecutive steps in the opposite direction. I want you to stay on the white line. Do you understand, sir?” By now I was really terrified, wondering if I could do as he asked, so I let his pronoun slip pass. There were greater problems looming. He suggested that I would probably do better in my bare feet than in heels and he told me to put my purse, cape and shoes on the hood of his car. So there I was, in my dress and bare feet, walking up the line, turning and walking back. I thought I did pretty well. Later, I wondered what I looked like on the video tape. Ugh. Then he asked me to tilt my head back and with my eyes closed and arms fully extended to the sides, and to then touch my nose, alternating between my right and left hands until he told me to stop. I did as he instructed and again thought I did pretty well.

He went back to his squad car and returned with a breathalyzer. “This is where I am going to sink, “ I thought. Only now was the full gravity of the situation being processed by my alcohol soaked brain. “If I don’t pass this, I could go to jail.”

I blew into the tube. He looked at the screen and then showed it to the second cop who job, it appeared, was to shine his flashlight in my eyes. Then the cop showed me: .075. That’s .005 from being legally drunk. “You are very, very close…and very, very lucky,” he said. I didn’t dispute his analysis.

The good news was that they weren’t going to arrest me for DUI. The bad news was that he wasn’t going to permit me to drive the final two miles home. I pleaded with him to just follow me, but he refused. I suggested that I could just leave my car parked by the side of the road and maybe they could give me a “courtesy ride” home. I could figure some way to get back to pick up my car the next day, even if I had to walk. In the end, they put me in the back of one of the police cars and cop who stopped me drove my car another mile closer to my house where it could be parked in a residential neighborhood. Otherwise, he claimed, that it would have to be towed. Of course, I agreed.

It was 1:30 a.m. when the cop opened the rear door of the cruiser now parked in my driveway. The back of the cruiser was smaller than a Philadelphia taxi and I was literally sprawled across his back seat. I’ll bet he enjoyed the “free show” of me trying to wiggle out of the back seat with my feet facing the wrong way. Once out, I thanked him for the ride home and he said, “good night, ma’am.” Well, at least he got it right at the end.

The next morning I did some soul-searching. I need to put a lid on the drinking. If I can’t tone it down then I have to stop. I hate thinking that could be true but maybe it is. Maybe I’m a drunk. A drunk in denial. I thought about all the other times I’ve driven home like that. It was only a matter of time before I was going to cross paths with law enforcement. The township police were simply monitoring the road that late-night revelers used to return home. You could guess that someone driving home at 12:30 a.m. may have been out drinking. If they weave the least little bit, you’ve got probable cause to stop them. The cop gets behind you and captures your little weave on his dashboard camera so that he’ll have that evidence for the trial. He’s trained to get the stop recorded. He’s trained to ask questions prior to making an arrest so that your answers aren’t protected by your Miranda rights. I guess you could choose not to cooperate by not answering his questions, but that could also bring on retaliation and further difficulty. You could refuse to take the breathalyzer test, or a blood test, or urine test, but in Pennsylvania, such refusal will lead to an automatic 12 month suspension of your license and you could be convicted of DUI anyway. The prosecutor will argue that you refused the test because you knew you were grossly over the limit.

I know one thing for certain: I am a very lucky lady. I’ve never been in an accident, or God-forbid, killed anyone as a result of my drinking and driving but I have to change my ways. I never want to be in this position again…ever.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion


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  1. This article is an excellent summary and lesson to learn. A girlfriend of mine in Las Vegas was busted for DUI. Her first move was to offer 100% cooperation for any questions or process to be followed. Her demeanor was rewarded by being in her own holding cell–away from the men who would likely kill her and from the woman who were maniacs in their own right. It cost my friend dearly in bail, fines, court fees, etc. But she was allowed to maintain her dignity because she did not resist. METRO handled this very professionally.

    Same conclusion: It’s a wise thing not to drink & drive but especially not en femme. The cab drivers might be a little weird, but if you have green money, they will treat you with respect.


  2. Graham Graham says:

    This is an excellent article with an important message, one which everyone would do well to heed. However, it has to be said that the connection to crossdressing is irrelevant.

    By dint of where this article has been published, and its subsequent audience, readers may have been conditioned to believe that to be pulled over while wearing women’s clothes is somehow worse than being pulled over while wearing men’s clothes, and that this is a good reason not to drink and drive while out en-femme. Well, if it makes you think twice about risking your life over a glass of alcohol, then you carry on believing it. The conception is that some US police forces will harass transpeople … although being a Brit, I can’t verify or deny this. What I can say is that, in the UK, the police are for the most part accepting of crossdressing, and will only haul you in if you’re breaking the law – regardless of what you’re wearing.

    In reality, how you behave over alcohol shouldn’t be determined by whether you’re dressed as a man or as a woman. If you’re driving, don’t drink. If you’re drinking, don’t drive. There’s no need for it. It’s a simple enough message.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m no angel. I like to drink. I drink when I’m on holiday, and I can stagger back to my room. I drink if I’m out, and I know that I’m either staying over, or can get a lift back home. I like a good neat rum, and I make my own wine to drink at home. However, I live by my policy of not drinking and driving under any circumstances; personally, I support random breath-testing, and I believe the legal limit should be zero.

    So could it happen to me? No. And if you have any dignity, you really should take steps to ensure that it can’t happen to you either.

    • angela_g angela_g says:

      The police I have been pulled over by have all been professional and their only reaction when seeing my driver’s license was to stop calling me “miss.” But on the other hand I have known some who were treated very badly by the police. One was taken to several police stations to be paraded before the other members of the force. Another had her car towed away and had no way to get home. The best bet when stopped is to also be calm, give your ID and don’t ever try to flirt with the cop to get out of it. And as Graham said, maybe don’t drink and drive. What do you think?

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