So, let me first state that I am absolutely pro law enforcement, one of my best friends and hunting buddy is a cop. Just wanted to share a recent event that should serve as a stark reminder to those who like to have a cold one on the boat.
My son and I were returning to Austin with my boat coming back from Seadrift last Sunday about noon. I normally keep it in Port Oconner but was bringing it home to do some work to it.
Well, I pass 2 cops, not speeding and a few minutes later there is one behind me and the lights go on.. hmm, OK.. well, hmm.. I pull over and the cop comes up and informs me the trailer registration tag is expired. OK, well, I guess I will get a ticket for it, so be it, my bad for not staying on top of it.
I explain what’s going on but am ready to accept my ticket.
That’s when it got interesting.
So, he sees a beer can in the center console and asks if I have been drinking and to give him the can (which I didn’t realize was there). I said “no sir, here you go, it is hot and it is empty” My buddy left it there the evening before after our guided trip was finished (he drove seperately) and I didn’t realize it was there.
I hadn’t had any alcohol that morning as I explained to the officer. I am VERY polite and respectful, I know they have a job to do.
So, I get asked to step out and get a sobriety test. (first time ever)
He does the one where you follow a pen he moves in front of you with your eyes. Apparently, I fail said test and it moves to a stand there, then take 9 steps, etc..
I politely repeat “I have not had anything to drink, I would be happy to take a breath analyzer test.. I pass the 2nd test and I made damned sure I knew EXACTLY how they wanted me to do the walking test. I must admit I was nervous as hell and my legs were shaking.
Asked when the last time I drank anything and I told them about 9 the night before. They checked the boat and the boat ice chest on the front of the boat (there was beer in it, no empties present)
In the end, I was let go with a warning for the trailer tag.
After I drove a bit and calmed down I called my buddy and explained what happened and he told me what they do with the eye test.
I said man, “I think I was profiled because of the boat an visible cooler”
He told me I probably was and they figured I had been on the boat drinking..
I was not mad at the officers, I don’t want drunks on the road, I have a family and don’t want them killed..
Just a stark reminder of how easily it could be to get a DUI if you did have a tad more than you should have.. it was also a teaching moment for my 14 year old son who will be driving in a few years.. I also called my college son and had a long “dad talk” with him about it.
First off, don’t drive under the influence, don’t have open containers in your vehicle (duh) and clean out your boat at the ramp if you did have a beer or two.
I have never had a DUI and I will admit there were times when I was younger it is a miracle I didn’t. I travel for work and not being able to drive would be disastrous.
Be careful out there