I checked the status of my driver’s license… Ignition Interlock Device no longer required! Woohoo!
What’s an Ignition Interlock Device?
It’s that fun breathalyzer that the state required me to have installed on my car if I wanted to be able to drive… because I’m was a drunk driver and I couldn’t be trusted to make the right decisions on my own.
Yes, I confess. I drink and drive… well, I used to. And I was required, by law, to have this in my car for 6 years as part of my DUI sentence.
A harsh reality check accompanied with a list of consequences. And now that I have served my time, the restriction has been lifted. This was the final item on my list to check off and now I am officially free!
Listen when I tell you that drinking and driving should NEVER be an option.
You’re probably sitting there thinking you’ve heard it all before, that this would never happen to you, that you could never be THAT irresponsible.
Well… all of that may be true. And at one point I was you.
Then I spiraled.
I allowed depression, lack of judgment, the need to feel something different, to not feel anything at all takeover.
I forgot who I was. I lost myself.
So not only do you put yourself, your community and any friends in the car in danger when you make that choice…
But this is where shit gets really real:
- Somewhere around $10,000 in fines to the courts
- 6 months of total jail time
- 6 years of ignition interlock device requirement
- $150 a month to lease the device (x6 years)
- 5 years SR-22 requirement on your car insurance
- Having your car insurance company kick you off your policy because you’re reckless
- 8 months of outpatient treatment
- 2 years of active probation in 2 different counties with monthly meetings
- Totaled my fave truck
- Lost my apartment while serving my time
- Getting pregnant after the last DUI and still having to show up to treatment, providing random UA’s (urine analysis to prove you’re not using drugs/alcohol) AND your probation appointments with your belly…because none of those are bad enough on their own.
Think about it… you likely have a cell phone, debit card and/or cash. Phone a friend, call Uber/Lyft/a cab, have a designated driver.
You ALWAYS have options.
Because that shit list up there you just read? That has been real life. My life over the last 6 years.
Did I need it to get my shit together? Fuck yeah, I did and I’ll own that. I am no longer ashamed. I learned my lesson and it did take all of that.
I’m here to tell my story to reach at least 1 person.
Maybe you’ve had a close call or got away with it once or twice, I sure as hell did…many times! But I’m definitely not proud of my choices. It was who I was and where I was in my life at the time.
I can’t change my history. But I can change who I am and how I live my life every day moving forward. Making conscious choices and either avoiding or leaving situations that might trigger me.
I have a family now… I have more than just me to think about.
I am grateful and lucky this is all that’s on my list. That I didn’t kill anyone in my downward spiral.
That I didn’t kill myself.
That I’m still here to live, raise children, be a wife, have great-grandchildren one day…
And not make my parents have to bury their only surviving daughter.
Today I choose life. What will you choose?