The Best Mistake I Ever Made

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12 December 2011
Case #: 10SM04402
The Best Mistake I Ever Made
It was the last day of competition at the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, when I was arrested for a DUI. During the day, I drove up to Huntington Beach from my apartment in Mission Viejo and spent the whole day at the beach, enjoying the sun with my friends. After the final competition was over, we headed back to a house of a friend of mine. He was throwing a party since his parents were out of town. All of my friends were there playing drinking games and enjoying each other’s company. I had picked up a bottle of vodka on my way to the party from a liquor store that never carded me. I immediately went straight to the beer pong table after I arrived, and started to play. After playing three games and taking shots in between, the alcohol started to take its course. I began to lose muscle control and started slurring my words as the alcohol began to take effect. After all the alcohol was consumed, everyone naturally wanted to leave. Most of my friends looked to me to be their ride back home, since I was the “least” drunk because of my size. I reluctantly gave in and started to drive back to Mission Viejo. I obviously thought I was driving just fine but I was very paranoid, looking in my mirrors repeatedly for cops. I got everyone home safely without any complications. I started to drive home but suddenly my car stalled. I had forgotten to get gas. My car still had momentum, so I pulled into a parking lot close by. It was nearly three in the morning and everything around me was closed and even worse, my phone was dead. So I decided to sleep in the car until the gas station across the parking lot opened. I closed my eyes for what seemed to be five minutes when I awoke to being seated on the curb with a fire truck in front of me along with three cop cars. I thought this was some type of nightmare. When I realized what was happening, I began to panic. After the medics cleared me, the officers began their sobriety tests. It was now seven in the morning and I was praying that most of the alcohol had made its way out of my system. I completed the tests and obviously failed because the officers brought out the breathalyzer. I blew a 0.12 first. Then I blew a 0.10 the second time. They then cuffed me and I took what seemed to be the longest ride of my life to Main in Santa Ana. I can still remember the whole ride from my car to the jail perfectly. The visits, for the court ordered program, that followed changed my entire perspective on drunk driving and its consequences.

My first official court ordered program visit was the Alcohol Awareness class in Santa Ana. There I tested goggles of different BAC levels, which put things in perspective. It was very scary to understand how I was preserving the world around me, the night of my DUI arrest. Francois, the guest speaker, discussed his journey from a life of crime to his walk with Christ. His testimony gave me a glimpse of what my life could end up resulting into if I didn’t buckle down and get my life straight. It was amazing to see a man standing before me, telling his life story, spilling his heart out to the whole class just in hope he could influence a change in the direction of at least one life. From a gangster to a slam poet, Francois left no excuses on the table; neither did I. After he shared his story, he put up a slideshow that made me cringe down to my bones. It was a slideshow of fatal car accidents. I have only seen death in movies and video games and that is fake. I never saw anything as real as these photos. I didn’t realized how much it shocked me until the projector came to one photo in particular. It was a photo of a child smashed into the street with blood pouring out of his tiny body. I had to look away. It hit me so hard. I thought to myself: what if I had caused that his death? What would I do with myself? How could I go on living? And what a coincidence; we had to write our own...
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