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.

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Odessa_Sterling00 said...
Apr. 12, 2011 at 3:53 pm
I'm confused on one part of your story though.  If you just took one drink and let it wear off for an hour or so, then you should have been fine.  And when that cop asked you, why did you say you did, it had been like a couple hours early.  The cop could have just been checking.  They do that a lot.  One swig definately wouldn;t have affected your driving.  And why couldn't you just take the breath test.  You would have come out clean.
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 13, 2011 at 5:45 am
I agree, One swig would have worn off fairly quickly. I'm glad you learned a good lesson, but the whole situation could have been avoided if you didn't freak outt
cloudskater1 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm
gosh, that's really moving. thank you for posting this, i'm sure it'll change many people's outlook on drinking and driving. it definitely changed mine. i know im not going to drink and drive EVER, no matter what, for sure. also, you wrote beautifully, which brought the message out even more. great job, and i'm glad that became a learning experience for you =)
TheKing This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Good writing, I completely agree with the message you are trying to bring out, it is highly dangerous to drink and drive.


However, I'm finding some difficulty in finding out how you were feeling effects from such a low volume of a1cohol. Unless what you were drinking was 190 proof Everclear or Moonshine (distilled grain a1cohol), you simply would not be able to feel the effects after an hour long movie (trust me, as an asian, I have a very low a1cohol tolerance). A brea... (more »)

SickImage said...
Feb. 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm
First of all, I think you write really well, but I would like to explain a couple things just for your sake so this doesn't happen again, or to anyone else. One swig doesn't even equal one shot. Honestly I don't see how any person would feel anything from one swig. Even if you did though, going and watching movies and then being driven to your car? Any kind of feeling would have completly faded. Any smell on your breath would be gone. When asked if you had been drinking you could h... (more »)
raindance72 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm

If she had said she wasn't drinking, of course she wouldn't have been telling the truth! She was underaged and drank alcohol that day.

At least she was honest, and because of this she was able to learn a real lesson from the situation.

WelshSam said...
Feb. 6, 2011 at 7:55 am
Really, really excellent that you feel that you need to help other people avoid this situation. This can almost be compared to the sort of people who start charities after they lose loved ones to illness or murder or kidnapping, etc.
WelshSam replied...
Feb. 6, 2011 at 7:58 am
Great writing too
jenniraffe said...
Jan. 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm
i think its great that you know what you did wrong. so many people would just keep it to themselves and deny what they did.
Wes H. said...
Dec. 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm
I enjoyed how u weren't afraid to tell this experience and how u also taught a valuable lesson.  
fashionluvr16 said...
Dec. 2, 2010 at 9:18 am
wow thats such a good story. It is true, one little mistake can unravel into a big mess... one little swig can change your life. Good luck to u <3
knvdnvknd replied...
Oct. 6, 2011 at 12:21 pm
 dont get why are you drinking in the first place duhhhhhhh think!!!!
LastChapter said...
Oct. 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm
that is such a horrible thing to have to happen to you! i'm glad you and your friend survived, but i wish it never happened in the first place. remember though, this emely j. chica is right. its not your fault
LastChapter said...
Oct. 20, 2010 at 5:23 pm
if it was just one swing, and you watched movies afterwards, which tend to last over 2 hours per movie, then by the time you were encountered by that cop, the alcohol would no longer be in your system. if only you had taken the breathalyzer test, none of that would've ever happened:(
kitkat95 replied...
Jan. 15, 2011 at 11:19 am
that is so true but too bad she did not hink of that 
missdiana said...
Oct. 14, 2010 at 12:15 pm
arrest is one of the scariest things about being a teenager. Trust me! I also know.  I've made plenty of mistakes. (drunken driving, possesion of a controled substance, pregnancy,) but, every time, I manage to make it.
burritosareawesome said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 9:06 pm
It did teach me a huge lesson!!!!!
carmal23 said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 8:11 pm
I'm happy that you posted this hopefully it shows the readers what could happen over one simple mistake. Oh and I hope this taught you a HUGE lesson!
burritosareawesome said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 11:17 am
I love the description that you put into this. It must of benn really scary to have been arrested.
ilovewriting95 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 27, 2010 at 9:32 pm
Wow! That must've been scary. What I find so outrageouse is what just one small drink did to you. At least you learned but, wow! Great Job!That was well written!
Macx14 said...
Jul. 23, 2010 at 8:45 am
Very enlightening to new drivers:D Great job!
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