Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Drunk Driving Night -full account

Since its already been over two months since I got arrested for drunk driving, I'm well pass the upset phase and now capable enough to give a blow by blow account of what happened. If at any point I start mass cursing, excuse my misdemeanour and understand that nothing will take away this scar. The overview of this can be found here.

I won't recount how much I actually drank that night cos if u are an avid fan of alcohol and you've played with gadgets that update you on your BAC reading, then you'll know that 50mg ain't alot. The one that probably killed me was the Barcardi 151. For the ignorant, the limit in the sunny island of Singapore is 35mg. That is absolute rubbish. You'll probably cross that limit if u accidentally sprayed perfume in your mouth or you took a slice of tiramisu. The limit used to be 80mg, till the new Chief Justice took over and decide to implement his new law. Most likely bcos he's probably a bad drinker himself. If LB was the CJ, the limit would probably be about 20mg.

The reason why I left earlier than usual (before 3am) was because TB wanted to leave and I had to send Lee, Miss Model and TB back. LB was chatting this hot girl who's arms bore Chinese Tattoo poems. Under normal circumstances, I would have stayed with him, but I had a responsibility to see that my friends get home safe.

The moment I turned out of Mohd Sultan road, I hit Clemenceau road which was a VERY bad idea. If you know the road block operations, you'll know that its a traffic police hotspot over there. And why did I go by that way? Cos I was so sober, I was so sure I'll make it through unscathed. I am the biggest idiot.

Three cars away, I was pretty sure they'd stop me. A car full of young adults in club wear is an obvious dead givaway of a night out drinking. I can't believe I'm spot on in my predictions, never does this seem to happen for the lottery. The cop halts my car and comes to the side window to ask me some questions. I've been in road blocks countless times over, usually they'll pass my car, or even if I do get stopped, its on times when I'm legitimately clean. So what do I do? I lie..

Cop: "Sir, where did you come from?"
Me: "Mohd Sultan.."
Cop: "Did you drink, sir?"
Me: "Ermm, just a bit."
Cop: "How much?"
Me: "Maybe just two glass.."

I honestly wanted to lie and said I came from River Valley after supper and that I've not had a single drop booze. Those damn whiskeys and vodka! They totally fuck up your propensity to lie! I guess I really cannot lie in the face of adversity. Then the words I dreaded to hear.

Cop: "Sir, you don't mind, please pull over the side of the road and step out of your vehicle."

Its the same familiar lines you hear in the movies. I half wished they would execute police brutality on me so I could deny the breathalyzer, but this is Singapore. Policemen are nice people who put the interest of the public before themselves.

Another cop comes over to explain to me the proceedure.

Cop2: "Sir, you have to blow into the straw. Exhale long and hard until I tell you to stop. If you refuse to take the test or if you fail, we we have to take you back to the police station. Is that clear?"

I then replied the first most logical thing on my mind.

Me: "Hey brudder, can't you just close one eye? Just let me off this once?"

And this is where I hate Singapore. Corruption is low, everyone is affluent, and I can't buy my way out of this fix. I was THAT close to actually begging.

Cop2: "Cannot lah. Is there anyone in your car that can drive?"

Lee has an Australian license but he is way too drunk. TB is perhaps the only one who could have pass the damn BAC test but she didn't have a license. Miss Model well... too drunk and no license. I kept wondering if this was meant to be a second chance, a chance that was engineered to mock my choice of passengers. If only LB was here, we'd have switched places midway at the road block.

Without a choice, I blew. The first attempt was void as I blew too little and released too soon. Needless to say I voided the next attempt.

Cop2: "This is the last chance, if void again, we'll have to take you in."

What the hell. I blew. Failed. Fuck. I'm fucked.

The first cop comes over to explain to me that he'll park my car at the carpark by the road and they have to take me in. I told the guys to go ahead and take a cab home first and said some really stupid stuff like, "Don't worry about me, I'll be fine." What the fuck, I'm lying through my teeth now when only minutes ago I was a fucking mascot for the honesty campaign.

The trip back was absolutely whrecking for me. I constantly wished the cops would flip and crash the car somewhere in the journey and I would crawl out alive despite not having airbags and make a run. That would have been divine intervention. We had a brief conversation in the car where I actually corrected them about some mistakes they said in the comparisson of the WRX and the STi. I just desperately wanted to prove I was sober.

I also realised only much later that being brought back to the station had two protocols to adhere to. One was that I was to have all my valuables, ie wallet and mobile phone confiscated and that I was supposed to be handcuffed. Neither of it happened to me. It wouldn't have made a difference either. I'd still have been wishing the car flipped but I'll probably also be thinking about how to pick the handcuffs.

As soon as we got to the station, I was told to wait in a holding area. There were 4 others there already, and this was at maybe 3.30am. Everyone of them looked like they had just come out of a beer orgy. Then we each recounted or story.

There was this guy in his 40s who was a lorry driver. The dude was so drunk he was uttering rubbish about beating up cops and stuff. Apparently he got pulled over at the highway for doing 100km/h on his lorry curbed at 60km/h. It wasn't the speed, he told us that he was swerving and that when he got pulled over he over, he was so pissed drunk with fraustration on being stopped he wanted to smash the cop's head. He was that violent, drunk and stupid.

This other guy got caught because he nearly crashed his bike into the police car stationed on the road shoulder. Amazing what these people go through to get themselves arrested.

When at the station, we had to take a second more accurate BAC reading. It's a machine hooked up to transmit the data to the court. Which means there is no avenue of escape once we blow. If we fail, the data is automatically sent to the court, irradicating chances of bribery and corruption. We miss out on alot of human relations and economic persuassion. Being corruption free sucks.

One the guys actually passed the second test, he blew a 30mg/100. This girl blew a 38mg and even if you exceed by 3mg, it's deemed an offence. This is the perfect example of a rigid system of work ethics. Everything is numerically based.

LadyCop: "Ok, you are given three attempts to blow. Blow till the light flashes green. If after three tries you fail to produce a legitimate result, you will be deemed to have failed the test, and will be proscecuted accordingly."

Prior to this, I had already consumed an insane amount of water, pissed twice and scrubbed my tongue furiously. Why did I have so much time? Cops are efficient in arresting people, but they suck at paper work. By the time I was called for the second test, it was probably 4.20am.

I blew.. 50mg. LadyCop said some really stupid stuff.

LadyCop: "Ok you can see the results yourself, there's no way I could have tampered with it."

The next stop was being held in another cell while they prepared the charge sheet. I went in with 3 others. Two of which were the two guys prementioned, who blew a 97mg and a 68mg. The other was this Caucasian man, Olivers, who turned out to be the Managing Director of Spizza. I think he blew a 55mg.

Olivers: "What is taking them so long? I thought Singapore is very efficient"
Me: "You've not been through our army.."
Olivers: "So what are they keeping us in here for? They going to hang us?"
Me: "They'll probably cane us first. Only people above 51mg gets hanged."
Olivers: "Really? Such a pity you'll miss the experience of getting hanged then."

The two of us went on at this, making incessant jokes about getting hanged and executed for drink driving. It was the only way we could suppressed reality and ironically it came from exaggeratingly mocking our plight. We sat in the cell waiting the inevitable charge and yet every fleeting moment I believed that there was some way or another the officer would be able to wrangle me out of this debacle or that I was merely dreaming. I would have believed I was dreaming except that my mobile poured in with messages as everyone slowly got word about it.

Alot of it consisted of an opening msg that went something like, "Are you ok?" and ended predictably with "don't worry, everything will be alright." My friends are pretty much in the same Pinocchio idolizing club as me. If I was to give anyone a comfort speech, it'll pretty much be. "Fuck it. You are screwed, unless you know someone important in the society, you're pretty much fucked. If you do, you're gonna just get away with a week's suspension and a thousand dollar fine. Hail Nepotism". If you read my court case story, you'll know why. Maybe if you are surnamed Lee and you hold certain previledged bloodlines to a certain figure, they probably let u off on the spot and throw in a free can of green tea, just for making you wait.

The holding area was a fucking room with seats that are so uncomfortable you'll break a vertebrae just trying to lean back on it. Besides Olivers, there was no one else I really wanted to talk to. The drunk lorry driver was snoring away and still muttering about bashing cops and the biker was complaining how his girlfriend was gonna kill him and that he had 3 speeding charges under his belt already. I just took one sip too many.. why am I here? The potential cop basher, a kamikaze cop killing bike rider, a rich restaurant entreprenuer and an innocent clubber. What a motley crew.

When I finally got called to do my charge statement, it was close to 6.30am and LB was already there at the station waiting to bail me out. Before going in I practised several pitiful expressions and demeanour to show my regret and utter disillusionment with life. Im serious, I would have been Oscar worthy given the number of times I buried my face in my palms. The only thing I couldn't do was to cry on cue. I even took my tone two notches below my usual speech and added the occassional quiver in the voice.

Immediately after the Officer said there was nothing he could do except write in a favourable report, I dropped the act and resumed my stoned disenchantment with worldly pleasures. My cold blank stare made him asked me on a couple of occassions if I actually understood the proceedings. Fuck, I'm dead man walking anyway, might as well make it a swift one.

When everything was done and I was cleared to leave, the cops actually realised that I was not properly detained. As in my prossessions were supposed to be confiscated and returned only after I was duely charged or accquited. The female cop said another stupid line to me, something like, "you're lucky we forgot to take your mobile". Right, I can so clearly see the silver-lining in that!

By the time I was cleared, it was 7.30am. I made so many first for tonight. Getting bailed, taking a legit BAC test and staying from dusk till dawn in a damn station. All I really needed now was to get fucked in the ass, and that would have really made it a night.

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