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Dwi? How can that be?

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Lionne posted 9/3/2013 19:44 PM

This is a follow up to my DS's relapse. And I am NOT trying to get him out of anything, just trying to figure out what might happen. He is engaging a lawyer, handling it himself, the consequences are all on him.

He apparently decided to go get a few beers, this after being sober for 19 mos. He didn't drive his car, took a small, (legally)unregistered scooter, drank, headed home, hit a ditch, blew the tire and was walking home when the police came. Issued a DWI confiscated the scooter. I think he may have spent the night in jail. Normally, in NJ the license is surrendered in court the next day. That didn't happen for some reason. He has to go back, with a lawyer. My question is, he wasn't driving at the time the police saw him, will it be a DWI?
He is checking himself into inpatient therapy tomorrow if all goes well. He claims, and his sponsor/advocate agrees, this was a "one and done" but that he needs to really put more work in.

Again, I'm just fretting, trying to figure out what will happen, I give up the outcome, but I'd like to have a heads up on what will happen before it hits me in the butt...

click4it posted 9/3/2013 21:44 PM

I think it was assumed he was riding it since he was intoxicated and carrying it with a blown out they can do that, but I don't know the true legality of it. Its good he didn't use a car when driving, but he could have really hurt himself or someone else in the path with a scooter Hopefully this relapse is a final one for him given the impending consequences. (((sk)))

h0peless posted 9/3/2013 21:48 PM

I had a friend in college who got a DWI on his skateboard, so the choice of vehicle doesn't matter. Did your son admit to the officer that he had been riding the scooter?

miadianna posted 9/3/2013 21:52 PM

Wow. My XH was pulled over while driving drunk and the officer smelled whiskey on his breath and said "I'm just going to pretend I didn't smell that" and let him go. No warning, nothing. He's been driving drunk his entire life and brags about it.

persevere posted 9/4/2013 00:27 AM

Depends on the jurisdiction - in Texas they would need some proof that he was operating a motorized vehicle when he was intoxicated. If that were the issue his circumstance sounds difficult to prove.

But I don't know the law where you are.

suckstobeme posted 9/4/2013 02:55 AM

He likely admitted he had been driving the scooter at the time they encountered him walking home. They would certainly ask questions to figure out where he had been and why he was walking. If he clearly showed signs of intoxication and admitted he was recently driving, they likely had cause to charge him. However, there is a difference between being able to charge and being convicted. I don't know the law in your jurisdiction regarding whether it would support a conviction under tthose circumstances so its best to listen to his attorney.

FWIW, there are many places that are permitted to charge and convict for DWI if the car is turned off and the driver is sleeping in the front seat, as long as the keys are accessible. In those places, they consider that operating the vehicle because of the ease with which that person could start the car and drive even though that person could be dead asleep at the time the police encounter.

Lionne posted 9/4/2013 19:17 PM

He may have admitted it. And given that he's working an AA program with a goal to be scrupulously honest, I wouldn't want it any other way. Well, he has contacted lawyers, is waiting to hear from the rehab facility, has upped his meeting attendance. How can smart people be so stupid?

hurtbs posted 9/4/2013 19:27 PM

but I'd like to have a heads up on what will happen before it hits me in the butt...

Very gently... how will this impact you? He is a grown-up. He pays his own insurance. He is responsible for his own livelihood.

I'm a little concerned that you're going into co-dependent, saving mode.

Scaredy do you go to Al-Anon or Narc-Anon? If not, that should be the next place you go for your support with his disease. But remember, it's *his* disease.

I will say that legal consequences are sometimes the only thing that gets an addict's attention. Let him navigate the whole messy, expensive mess that his own actions created (by your admission, he was driving drunk - and got into an accident). Don't make excuses or try to find outs for him. Addicts don't tend to learn from 'close calls,' they learn from concrete consequences for their actions.

Lionne posted 9/4/2013 19:34 PM

You are absolutely right. The only thing this does is give me a concrete nucleus around which to build my fretting. "now if a, b and c happen then either d, e and f could happen." He will navigate, deal with and pay for it all in whatever manner is necessary. The MOST he would ever do, (and he never has EVER) is ask us for a loan) He's borrowed small amounts for other things and paid them back religiously, we would consider it.

I appreciate your words Hurts. I'm not going to interfere, I just have to figure out ways to manage my own anxiety. Meditation, prayer and small doses of xanax only go so far.

hurtbs posted 9/4/2013 19:36 PM

I just have to figure out ways to manage my own anxiety. Meditation, prayer and small doses of xanax only go so far.

I get this, I so do. For me - exercise. I do cardio like a fiend when my anxiety gets to me. And yes, sometimes I have to have a Xanax afterwards to get my head to stop spinning.

What about an Al-Anon meeting? As one co-dependent to another, it does help and it can give you the tools to cope in new, healthier ways. Detach - with love.

ETA: Deal with the loan issue when/if it happens.

Lionne posted 9/4/2013 19:49 PM

Oh, yeah, I'm a card carrying member of Alanon, Alateen, Naranon, and Sanon. This boy comes by his addictive genes honestly.

But thanks for the advice. I got my literature out and read through it with a box of tissues last night. Didn't help that this is the first week of school and I am retiring in a month. Should have been party time! Well, it still will. He is saying to his dad that this is a slip, not a I have to have faith that he'll jump back on.

Thanks again for the support. SI is the best place for me.

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