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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deepthi said...
Aug. 1, 2015 at 11:54 pm
Its a tough lesson that everyone should follow in their lives for their welfare and good living.You have obviously taken a right step and this lesson is extremely useful.Thank you for sharing this article in this site.
caitopotatoe344 said...
Mar. 22, 2015 at 3:24 pm
Great story. It's a tough lesson unfortunately so many have to learn. Thankfully you are okay and well.
Myluvzu said...
Jul. 1, 2014 at 11:27 pm
This is an amazing and outstanding story I'm going to send this to my friend and maybe it will talk some sense into him. Thank You for sharing your story :)
RelativetoWriting This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 5, 2013 at 10:29 am
A great story! Thank you for sharing. I know how easy it is to make a tiny mistake that send everything else flying to the ground. 
asofnow This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 8, 2012 at 1:37 am
Life is just not fair sometimes, and one has gotta learn the lessons it offers. But some ppl learn the lessons even when they don't need to or even when they have learned the lesson a ton of times already. Some people get away with so much worse than this and therefore I find this punishment wholey unjsut. But I am really glad you learned a lesson from this experiance and chose to share it with us, so the wise ones can learn too.
asofnow This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 8, 2012 at 1:38 am
Excuse my grammatical errors. I am typing this in the dark of the night. XP
PinkKitty said...
Nov. 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm
Good story, its good that you told the truth about drinking, but that much for refusing to take a breath test is stupid!!
selenagfan said...
Nov. 19, 2011 at 10:39 am
That's kind of harsh for not just taking a breathlizer. Dang.
Victoria.S said...
Oct. 6, 2011 at 7:25 pm
Overall this is a very good piece of writing. Its good that you realized that it was a bad idea in the first place. Wow what a learning experience!
TheGoing replied...
Oct. 28, 2011 at 11:31 pm
Cool story, interesting strory, but could have been written better... just my opinion.
Victoria.S replied...
Oct. 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm
NO, it was a beautiful written article. I think that you did just fine! :)
lovetildeath said...
Aug. 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm
I would have been scared but you only took a swig and were under the legal limit.That sucks
Jacobius replied...
Sept. 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm
I'm not sure if you realize this, but she was under 18.  The legal limit for someone under 18 is 0.0000000000.  You cannot have ANY alcohol in your system if you are under the age of 18.  The penalty probably would have been less severe if she had taken the test, though.
dolphinportkey7 replied...
Nov. 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm

That's not actually true. They do allow for a very small amount to be in the blood of a minor- something like .0025%, very low- because of alcohol taken for religious purposes, as in the Communion Services of Catholics, for example.


But still, any more than a sip would put you above that.

FlaviusJacobiusOssummuss replied...
Nov. 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm
Which was my point...
RanaHewezi1998 said...
Jun. 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm
awwww its good u learned not 2 do that again n i don't plan 2 drink & drive ever!
yourshoes123 said...
Apr. 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm
HEY EVERYBODY. You all need to know that she didn't get arrested because she was drinking. She got arrested because she refused to take the breathanalyzer test. If you refuse, cops have every single right to arrest you, and they will. SO NEVER EVER REFUSE THE BREATH ANALYZER. If your blood is less than .08 intoxicated (one beer) you are fine, not legally drunk, and cops can't arrest you. NEVER REFUSE BREATHANALYZER TEST. i'm telling you the truth!!!!!
Fate98 said...
Apr. 13, 2011 at 10:36 am
Ye how come you didn't just take the test. Also i hope you know how amazing your dad is. My mother would never let me behind a wheel again so long as i live under her roof. And she would probs make me pay the fine
Steph0804 replied...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm
My mother would disown me - it's an Asian thing. You know, Confucius got all hyped up about family honor and spread the word until everyone from China to Korea started worshipping him.
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.
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