Tuesday, August 19

field sobriety testing is hard

it's sometimes weird being the oldest child.
mainly because you remember your younger siblings as being these tiny things (especially when you're a fair amount older than them) and then they go ahead and turn into adults and they're doing adult things like having jobs and serious relationships and it's just kind of overwhelming.  which is exactly the thing with my babiest brother.  a seven year age gap means i remember when my parents brought him home.  i remember when he had to get casts on both of his feet to correct his pigeon toe thing.  i remember him having to get that other surgery (that i won't mention here because lol).  i remember him bouncing in his bouncy chair.  and i remember him being this tiny little boy with a tiny little boy voice for my most of my life.


and now he's a six foot tall towering redwood of a man with the deepest voice like ever.  and he wears the deepest of V's and he shoots guns and he likes underground rap music (whatever that is) and it's so mind boggling.


and i think it's the deep, low voice that gets me.  like "hey bro - you didn't sound like that till you were like eighteen i swear."  and now he's going to be a police officer.  like in the academy and everything and it's just weird because in my mind he's still that tiny little six year old and i'm all "six year olds can't be cops."  but he's doing it and he does ride alongs (he sees me sometimes and waves and then tells me later i better watch it or he'll pull me over) and after the shit show that was my bachlorette party (which i'll get into some other time) he calmly let me know that the protocol for the type of out of control shit that went down is as follows: "first we ask you, then we tell you, then we make you."  and i was like "OMG DON'T ARREST ME, I DIDN'T BEHAVE LIKE A LUNATIC."  

but the point to all of this is that my brother is in the police academy.  and he has to take all sorts of classes and tests and administer other types of crap.  so imagine my surprise when my brother called me a few weeks ago and explained that he needed to complete his field sobriety testing and that they were each allowed to invite one person  and that it included me showing up, getting drunk, and then him performing field sobriety tests on me and that naturally he thought of me.  and then i couldn't decide if i was flattered or insulted.  but either way i graciously accepted.  and then he asked me what i wanted to drink and i was like "wait, what?
i get to pick?"  and he was like "ya."  and i was like "ok vodka please."  and then last tuesday shitler dropped me off at the local community college where i got checked in and settled in to drink my face off.



matthew had let me beforehand that each person was dosed at a different rate.  so there would be people that could be ghost faced wasted and people that only had a couple drinks and the point of the class and the pass/fail grade was based on whether each student, after performing the field sobriety tests, would choose to arrest you if they happened to have pulled you over when you were driving.  so they tracked how many shots went into each drink.  and they kept track of how many shots you took (they, in fact, were quite encouraging of shot taking).


and let the record show that i felt incredibly spoiled drinking the vodka provided considering i usually imbibe in the type that comes in a plastic bottle.  and they encouraged you to play drinking games and bar dice and participate in any and all normal things you do when drinking.


and so we drank from 5PM-7PM.  and then they promptly cut us off, let us sit for a bit, and then groups of soon to be officers filed in and the field sobriety testing commenced.  the seasoned officers teaching the class breathalyzed you and the students had at you.  and it was intense.  and slightly intimating and also kind of hard.  because they did the thing with their finger and your eyes.  and you had to follow the direction their finger went with just your eyes and sober i think that's hard enough let alone how distracted you get when you've had any amount of cocktail.  but seriously the eyes following the finger thing is difficult.  TRUST ME.


and then they explain to you that you're going to walk, hands at your sides, exactly nine steps one foot in front of the other, heel to toe and then you will pivot and do the exact same thing back and that you will count each of your steps outloud.  and they ask you how many steps you'll be walking and sometimes you kind of blank and you think to yourself "they totally just told me how many steps and i can't remember; this is embarrassing."  and then the entire time you're doing it you find your arms migrating from your side in order to maintain balance and then they bark at you "HANDS AT YOUR SIDE."  and you're like "shit this is really hard."  and then they tell you it's the last one.  and that one includes standing on one foot, with your hands at your side, and counting "one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, etc." until you can't do it anymore and then you almost kind of topple over.  but then they tell you to do it again.  and you do and once again you find your hands moving up to help you balance and they instruct you again that "your hands need to remain at your sides ma'am."  
and they confer and take notes while you just stand there sometimes thinking you totally nailed it.  and what's even more fun is that there are like thirty students divided up into groups of three and they have to field sobriety test all eight drunkards in attendance so you end up doing all three tests like ten different times.  and since you're doing the tests so frequently you totally think to yourself "i'm totally going to ace it this next time."  but you don't.  because you're drunk.

and then it's over.  and you're exhausted.  and you realize that perhaps there were times that, no you weren't the level of drunk you currently are, but you certainly had no business driving no matter what.  and trust me this isn't some sort of endorsement or lecture but sweet lord i had no idea before this just how intense any of those tests were.  and although it was a total blast to be able to participate - the reality is that too many people drink and drive.  and too many people always says "two drinks and i'm totally fine."  but the officers let us know that it's usually just those two drinks that put you over the legal limit.  and then you're in a whole heap of trouble.  so i'm going to stick with drinking in the comfort of my own home.  or at least bars within reasonable walking distance.

and in case you were wondering my brother would have arrested me.
and he would have been right in doing so.  because i blew a .221
so don't drink and drive.  that shit is bananas.

and go on with your bad self matthew.  you'll be the most adorable police officer ever.
even though, in my mind, you're still basically a toddler.
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13 comments

  1. One time some friends came over and we got drunk and one of them had a breathalyzer and we all tried to use it but I was giggling way too much to actually blow for the amount of time you're supposed to blow and I would just fail one of these tests so bad but it sounds like a fun experience and you're right drinking and driving is bad and I hate puncuation let's drink together at home.

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  2. .221..... whats that like like a Tuesday night for you?

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    1. it actually WAS a tuesday night. weird.

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  3. I had to do a field sobriety test when I was 19, talk about scared shitless (because I had imbibed in a few smirnoffs) and somehow I managed to convince the officer to let me finish my drive home (which was less than 100 yards from where we were pulled over) and then he proceeded to tell me this very long winded story about how he was such a hypocrite because his girlfriend is underage and she drinks and blah blah blah. So I got off. As did my underage boyfriend passed out in the front seat.

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  4. holy balls what is that boy wearing. kindly let him know that no one will take him seriously so long as he dresses like a d-bag. and also, yay drinks provided by police officers. the one time where you don't have to shit your pants at the sight of them because they wanted it. oh yeah, they wanted it alright.

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  5. .221.... psh. Grow up, Peter Pan.

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  6. My brother is a probation and parole officer and I just have the hardest time picturing him being a dick to someone who violated parole and he had to arrest them... I take that back, no I don't. Also. Do you ever wonder why you are SO short and your brother is SO tall? Like couldn't the height gene have been divided up a little more evenly. Finally, I applaud your .221. Well done, Shan. Well done.

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  7. I got pulled over once at 2:00 in the morning while I was sober driving for a sorority event. It was all good in the hood except for all the lingerie wearing girls in my backseat... Oh yes, because I went as a basketball player and they all went as, well, Victoria's Secret models? The young buck of an officer and his equally young partner came up to the car and were shining lights in my tinted windows and were positive I was hammered. So, they gave me the test and I passed. But the eye-finger one is FREAKIN' DIFFICULT even sober. Especially at night when they're shining lights in your eyes because COME THE HELL ON YOU'RE BLINDING ME OFFICER. So, that's my story.

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  8. I think this is the best post I have ever read. Ever. To summarize: cops encouraged you to get drunk, for their benefit and then released you into the wild.

    Goddamn it I love you.

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  9. WHY DOES EVERYTHING GOOD HAPPEN TO YOU?

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  10. I know you don't want to hear this, but your bro is kinda hot....and he puts you in situations where you get free alcohol. Basically, if you take him anywhere with you, you'll have it made :)

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