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

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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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socrchik33 said...
Jul. 13, 2010 at 12:55 am:
my older brother just did this and finally got caught for it by the police, and i have no clue how long it has been going on for. im scared for him; he's going to court and i hav no clue what is going to happen to him. i hope he can learn a lesson like you did
 
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K9_Typical_Islander said...
Jul. 1, 2010 at 8:46 am:
I wrote an article somewhat like this, but the person actually died. The irony was that he and his family do this alcohol-free driver programs; then one night, he was cycling home then got hit by his own cousin who was drinking and driving downhill. Sometimes, lessons are learned the hard way, and other times, the person doesn't even live to learn the lesson. You were fortunate yet unfortunate simultaneously. You're piece is insightful. Thanks!! ~ though i can't drive yet, not a car.
 
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_Elsy_ said...
Jul. 1, 2010 at 7:36 am:
weird, where i live there are parties with drugs and achoal and the police know about it - i don't do any of that stuff. I think your town is more sane, and you did learn a good lesson the hard way which is sometimes the only way to get it.
 
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kksme This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm:
Someone in my town just died because of a drunk driver, it's good people are taking this seriously.
 
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charzard said...
May 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm:
wow! kinda of harsh! but you did learn a big lesson.
 
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singdancelaugh123 said...
May 13, 2010 at 5:11 pm:
wow, thats terrible. I hope your parents aren't too mad. Seems like the court kinda overreacted. Well, lets just hope it doesnt happen again. Thanks for the insight.
 
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iheartyou said...
May 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm:
wow...my friend had a party a while back and everybody was there and a lot of people were drinking one but her parents told everyone cops couldnt come on there property...well state troops could and they did and one of my friends had refused to take it and she only got ten hours of community service and thats all they did the parents didnt get in trouble at all...and last year a girl died at my school she was drinking at a football game and the princpal told her to leave since she was drinking h... (more »)
 
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sk8terboi said...
Apr. 23, 2010 at 7:31 am:

This is Awsome!!!!

Check mine out itz called Linda my first love.

 

 
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OnTheSurface said...
Apr. 4, 2010 at 10:33 am:
i see where you went wrong, but, if you only took one swig, why didnt you just take the breathealizer test??
 
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Melonn said...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 9:49 pm:
i am glad you got in that much trouble so maybe youll learn a lesson you got lucky not being in a car crash i have no sampthy for someone drunk who would have killed me or people i love
 
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xMeadowx said...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 7:39 pm:
I didn't realize there was so much punishment with just taking a swig & then driving off. To be honest, all that work would kill me, although I'm not lazy at all.
 
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Emely J. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 5:29 pm:
WOW...I know how you feel, trust me. I lost several friends a while ago because they were smoking some marajuana at school in the boys' batheroom. Since our classroom was right next to the bathrooms, we smelled it right away. I didn't find out right away that it was my friends who did it. And when I did, I didn't believe it . But when I saw them get arrested and driven from school in a police car...it was difficult. Just please remember that mistake is only a mistake if you haven... (more »)
 
Cutiegurl replied...
May 2, 2010 at 6:11 pm :
My friends were drinking and driving and I was in the car with them.I didnt drink,I kept telling them to stop and then.....we got into a car crash!Me and one of my 8 friends survived,but badly injured.Me and Kimm,my friend,spent 6 months in the hospital.The worst part was,I couldnt make it to their funerals.I really learned a lesson,Don't be friends with people unless they are friends with you.
 
EmelyJ This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 5, 2010 at 8:02 pm :
It's good that you learned your lesson, and don't blame yourself. Everything happens for a reason. If you think about it, because you learned your lesson, you made a big impact in many lives, because now, we're one step closer to ending drunk driving. Good luck!!!
 
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crystal_lynn said...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 9:03 am:
my names laura im 13 and i use my sisters account on here a lot. i read your story just now and i think its good but Hardly scary, my sisters boyfriend is in jail now but before he could walk, talk, and drive drunk without most people knowing he had been drinking. never got busted for drinking while driving and he got pulled over at least three times while they were driving to the store and got off with a warning even with him in the drivers seat.
 
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Hannahnanna said...
Dec. 15, 2009 at 7:53 pm:
I'm so sorry that this happened to you, but if it was only one swig, after an hour you would be sober again. I just recently took a drug and alcohol class and was taught this.
 
Hannahnanna replied...
Dec. 15, 2009 at 7:53 pm :
Oh, but it was written really well. Good job!
 
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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
 
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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. =]
 
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