A Tough Lesson This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

It was the end of my junior year, the weekend before prom. I was riding around that night with some friends, and a bottle got passed around the car. Everyone was taking swigs. Then the bottle got to me. With it in my hand I thought, What will I do? I took a swig. That was the biggest mistake of my life – I had to drive home later that night.

We arrived at my friends’ house and watched a movie. About an hour later I asked them to bring me back to my car. Not thinking, I got in and drove off.

At a stop sign I realized a cop was sitting in the parking lot across the street. When I saw his headlights turn on, I knew he was going to follow me until I got home. About a mile from my house, the cop turned his light bar on. All I could think was, Oh no, that swig!

I pulled over and waited for him to come to my door. It felt like forever. “Can I see your license and registration, please, Miss?” He took them and went back to his car for a while. When he returned, he asked if I had been drinking.

“Yes sir,” I said. He asked me to step out of my car.

“Walk heel to toe down the white line, please.” I passed the test. Next he had me stand on my left foot and lift my right foot six inches off the ground, and hold it for thirty seconds. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not the most coordinated person. I can’t even walk and chew gum at the same time. So, needless to say, I didn’t do the best on that test. Then he had me look right while he shined a bright light in my eyes. I passed that one too. He then asked me to take a breathalyzer test.

That’s where I messed up. I told him I didn’t want to and didn’t understand why I had to. The officer asked me three more times, and I continued to refuse.

He told me to turn around and place my hands behind my back. I thought that he was going to pat me down, but I was wrong. All of a sudden I felt cold metal on my wrists. He arrested me right then and there. As I was sitting in the back seat of his car, all I could think was, God, I’m in so much trouble … my parents are going to kill me.

The cop drove me to a town twenty minutes from my home. Being arrested was so scary. The officers brought me into a little concrete room and asked me a bunch of questions. Then they called my parents and told them where I was and to come get me or they would take me to a children’s home until my court date. When my dad got there, I ran and gave him the biggest hug ever, and he whispered into my ear, “I love you so much. Everything will be okay. Let’s go home.”

If I had only known what would happen. The next week I got an attorney, and I went to court two months after that. I was charged with a refusal. I got $700 in fines, forty hours of community service, and had to attend a MADD meeting. I’ll be on probation for a year, and I have to take driver’s ed again. And I lost my license for a whole year!

This has been a huge learning experience for me. It opened my eyes to how easy it is to make a stupid decision. I want everyone reading this to know that it’s not right to drink and drive, and it definitely isn’t worth losing your license over.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 73 comments. Post your own now!

megstar96 said...
Nov. 13, 2009 at 5:06 pm
its a good topic but i dont really like hoe its siad (not trying to be mean)
megstar96 replied...
Nov. 13, 2009 at 5:07 pm
i mean how it is said
Chris_B said...
Sept. 20, 2009 at 12:24 pm
I hope you learned from this lesson. Many kids our age don't think that drinking and driving does anything. I'm happy you were stopped before you, or anyone else got hurt, but I would've rather you not lost your license. :/ I'm sorry to hear about that.. You'll get it back soon though. We all fall, but the strong get back up. =]
Noneofyourconcern replied...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 8:16 am
She took one swig, it's not that bad. Why is everyone freaking out if she took one swig like she said. That cop was not taking consideration, although you could have drunk a lot. If you passed most of the tests you shouldn't have to take the breathlilizor test. It's a shame.
Emely J. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 5:32 pm
It doesn't matter. There's no telling what that 'one swing' could of cost her. Thankfully she learned her lesson. I really hope you do too.
mikky said...
Sept. 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm
ohmigod i knew not to drink and drive but ugh that sucks that u cant drive for a full yr!!! ur right that is not wrorth lossing ur licence for... i luv this piece!
Abigail_W said...
Jun. 12, 2009 at 1:02 am
All I can say is THANK YOU! for writing that story!
millz said...
May 20, 2009 at 6:42 pm
WOW i hope you get your license back soon. I am SOOO never gonna drink! Great artical
packer D. said...
Apr. 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm
thats preety interesting
dkcoel2 said...
Mar. 31, 2009 at 6:49 pm
zak K. said...
Feb. 18, 2009 at 3:13 am
such an amazing article and so dramatic i loved that peace of work.
anniegetyourgun said...
Dec. 20, 2008 at 3:17 pm
omg =( this was an awesome story, well, to read. I am so sorry to hear =/ how did the cop know you were drinking though? =/ i hope you're back on the road soon =[
Robkingett This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 4, 2010 at 10:42 pm
she told the cop.
MaddieKate78 said...
Dec. 17, 2008 at 6:26 pm
wow. That sounds aweful! I already knew to not drink and drive but this story really opened my already widened eyes! -Madalyn Kate-
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