Monday, October 17, 2011

Sobriety Test

Flashing red and blue lights in the mirror. Just what every teenage boy wants to see – especially when he’s on a date!

The officer, hard-faced and stern, marched up to the driver’s window, reciting the usual “License and registration” spiel. Then, “ Do you know why I pulled you over?”

Now, for a young and cocky adolescent male, there are a lot of possible answers to that question. Although, most of them are likely to increase the odds of getting a ticket. The fact the boy’s girlfriend was along probably helped stifle what would otherwise have been a mouthy response. Instead, he offered a simple, “No.”

“I observed you weaving and making contact with the yellow line,” the deputy explained. “Have you been drinking anything tonight?”

The eighteen-year-old was rather surprised at the question, since he hadn’t been drinking that night or any other. “Uh, yeah, Dr. Pepper.”

Not amused, the deputy asked the driver to step out of the car, and though it was phrased as a question, the teenager knew it was not a request. Opening the door, he noticed the officer leaning close to smell his breath. Then began a prolonged regiment of sobriety tests; a flashlight in the eyes, following the officer’s pen back and forth, standing first on one foot – then the other, and walking down the white line on the road.

“How many of these tests do I have to pass before you figure out I’m not drunk?” The teenager’s inherent sarcasm was starting to creep back in.

Not answering, the deputy began asking his own questions. And becoming increasingly annoyed, the boy couldn’t resist purposefully being vague. Where have you been? - On a date. Where did you go? - For pizza. Did you have anything to drink? - You already asked that.

Non-pulsed the officer continued. “Why were you weaving? Was something distracting you?”

Hello? Didn’t you see the girl sitting beside me? Thinking better of his response, the boy pointed toward his date. “I was just talking to her.”

After more than half an hour, the officer was finally convinced alcohol hadn’t been a part of the couple’s evening and let them go.

The scene I’ve described above was my first date with the girl who later became my wife. Had I been arrested that night my life would no doubt be far different now. I don’t mean because I might have married someone else, I don’t think I’d have had the chance to. I’m quite certain that if I’d been drinking and driving with his daughter in the car, my future Father-in-law would have killed me. Now that’s a sobering thought!

Bruce A. Borders, author and songwriter has over 500 songs and 9 books. Over My Dead Body, his latest ebook, is available on Apple I-Pad®, Amazon Kindle®, Barnes & Noble Nook® and Sony Reader®. For more information, visit or

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