Emotions when caught drink driving

ResearcherTerri

New member
Hi there. I am researching information to help people to know the facts and consequences BEFORE they get in the car after drinking. I want to know the emotions and reactions that you felt when you were stopped and breathalysed and also what was going through your mind at the police station. Also, did you know that you were over the limit before you drove or were you shocked when it was positive? If you knew that you were over the limit, what made you take the risk? Was it a one-off thing or more of a habit that you had gotten into? If anyone is willing to answer these questions it would go a long way to helping other people to not make the same mistake. Because, in most cases, it is a mistake or error in judgement and I really want to make sure that others don't have to go through the same horrible experience and ban. So if anyone out there is willing to answer my questions I would be really grateful.:)

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pammieg

New member
I am doing this for my husband, as I originally posted for him. He crashed his car into a lamppost whilst very drunk. He wrote off his car and the lamppost. fortunately for him, not a scratch. As it was his second offence, he was banned for three years. The emotions he went through during the time were many fold. Mainly he felt stupid, regretfull, and very sorry for himself. He has subsequently had a nervous breakdown. Not as a direct result, but it certainly would not have helped the situation. I tried on many occassion to warn him of the dangers, and as and ex police officer, he should have been aware. However, drink makes one feel super human. And your mind is taken over by some idiot that thinks he knows better. When sober, you know the risks and wouldn't dream of driving. Have that drink and reason goes out of the window.
 

ResearcherTerri

New member
Thanks for your response Pammieq. I really appreciate it and I hope that your husband recovers his mental equilibrium. As you say, one drink can make you no longer see sense. I wish you and him much luck in your future.
 

ResearcherTerri

New member
I am still hoping that anyone out there can help me with this. I remember how terrified I was when I was stopped and breathalysed. The police were rather stern and that made me feel like a really bad person. Having to do a fitness test and walk a straight line etc was bad enough but breathing into the machine at the roadside with a van load of police watching me was the most humiliating experience ever. I kept thinking 'no this can't be happening to me' but I was lucky because the machine turned red and green at the same time so I was told that they would let me off that time as it was borderline. But the whole experience was awful and it stopped me from ever drinking alcohol and driving again.

Is there anyone on this forum who will tell me about their experience and how they felt please? It could really help other people. I want to put together an information sheet and use some real life experiences so that it makes people stop and think. I won't use any info that will identify and certainly won't be using forum names. Just experiences and emotions. Please can anyone help?
 

merlin

Member
I am still hoping that anyone out there can help me with this. I remember how terrified I was when I was stopped and breathalysed. The police were rather stern and that made me feel like a really bad person. Having to do a fitness test and walk a straight line etc was bad enough but breathing into the machine at the roadside with a van load of police watching me was the most humiliating experience ever. I kept thinking 'no this can't be happening to me' but I was lucky because the machine turned red and green at the same time so I was told that they would let me off that time as it was borderline. But the whole experience was awful and it stopped me from ever drinking alcohol and driving again.

Is there anyone on this forum who will tell me about their experience and how they felt please? It could really help other people. I want to put together an information sheet and use some real life experiences so that it makes people stop and think. I won't use any info that will identify and certainly won't be using forum names. Just experiences and emotions. Please can anyone help?
At the time my marriage had broken down, I had lost my home and was drinking heavily. At the time of the offence, I hit a garden wall and fled from the scene. Was picked up an hour or so later, breathalysed and charged. At the time I was at a low point, was drunk, so didnt really care. But in the cold sober light of day, everything hit home, I realised I could possibly sent to prison and it could have been a person and a child I hit instead of a wall. This was a turning point for me, I sought help and stopped drinking heavily.

I was scared of going to court and felt vey intimidated and ashamed and was dreading the worst case scenario, lived on my nerves until the court case. It is an experience I never ever want to repeat. Things could have turned out so so much worse an all accounts and I am grateful that they didnt. I will never ever drink and drive ever again. It has the potential to cause so much damage and grief to everyone involved.
 

miss marple

Active member
Remember that the emotions don't only apply to the drink driver, they apply to the family as well. When my son was arrested for drink driving I felt it was one of the worst things that had ever happened to me (though I did manage to get a better sense of proportion after a few days – there had been no accident, injuries or deaths, and there so easily could have been). I felt ashamed of what he had done and very angry with him but at the same time he was so upset and frightened I couldn't help feeling sorry for him as well. Many tears were shed all round. My younger daughter was worried sick that her brother would go to prison. We all had sleepless nights and the day in court was one of the longest I have ever known.

His 14 month ban is having a considerable impact on the rest of us as we live in a rural situation with virtually no public transport, and it is costing us a great deal in time, money and inconvenience to get him where he needs to go. We also had to cancel a family holiday in America because his offence meant he had to apply for a visa and there wasn't time to do so before we were due to leave.

Maybe considering the consequences not just on you but on those close to you might help some drivers to think twice before getting in the car. Believe me, the repercussions are much greater than you might think.
 

hood

New member
See to be honest, I thought the police were/are ****ers. It's the law and not the citizen/'criminal' at fault. I was really to busy thinking of ways to dodge the breathylser to worry.
 

D1968

Member
I was caught drink driving last week. I was locked up in a cell. It's an awful experience but deserved the punishment. I am very upset with myself right now. I'll be put in the paper and people will then know.

I'll be in court on the 15 Feb. I want it to be over and done with. It's going to change me and it's something I will never do again. I'm in a battle with my emotions right now.
 

berylsmum

Member
In an odd sort of way it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I'm less than a month away from getting my licence back after an 18mth ban. My life had been going downhill for a couple of years and I took solace in a wine bottle, not every day and I don't know what triggered these episodes in my head! I should have sought help for depression but was too 'proud!' I have children so I wasn't out on the town but had girlie lunches and on the outside they thought I was happy, after a couple of glasses at lunchtime I'd look forward to getting home and buy a bottle on the way. The day I got caught I can honestly say was NOT the 1st time I had driven being over the limit, although the other occasions I would have probably been borderline or just over! That morning I'd been to see my granddaughter for her birthday and once again painted the smile on, got home and drank 2 bottles of wine feeling very low. I then got a call from my newly ex partner asking for a lift. I think at that point I was too pissed to care. I hadn't got far when I over shot a junction and hit a car! I knew straight away that I'd blown it. Once the driver smelt alcohol on me he quite rightly called the police. By the time they arrived he was yelling. The young police officer asked me to provide a specimen of breath. I refused as I knew in doing so I'd be arrested and I just wanted to get away from the 'yelling man!' I was handcuffed and put in a police van. I remember at that point feeling a calmness that I hadn't felt for months. I was taken to the station and locked up, it was by now 4pm. I then felt despair and think, had I been able, I'd have harmed myself (something I have never told anyone before)! I blew 87, far higher than I'd expected and had to stay locked up until 4am. I was treated very well throughout. The next morning I went to an AA meeting as I was now convinced I was an alcoholic. I stopped drinking and had no side effects, the stories I heard from the others where nothing like mine, after a couple of months I realised I wasn't dependent on alcohol. I had just needed a swift kick up the backside as I'm sure I was on a slippery slope. I bought a bike and started to ride everywhere, I used public transport and actually started to feel like part of the community. My young teenager daughters realise they have to plan things ahead whereas they had all taken lifts for granted! We've spent far more time together, people watching on buses etc and once I'm on the road again I hope I don't fall back into being an impatient, miserable driver. I didn't take the DD course as for one, I deserved to serve my time, two I wanted to spend the money on my girls and three there is nothing they can teach me as I'm an ex police officer! I have never once complained about my sentence. I'm sorry for all the embarrassment I've caused for my family but I don't feel sorry for myself! P.S I'm 46, have driven since I was 17, never been without a car and never so much as had a speeding ticket.
 

fridayschild

New member
When they pulled me over I thought you have got to be kidding swiftly followed by s**t.

When I failed the roadside I think I just went into some sort of shock and went on auto-pilot. I was just numb with fear.

The police were extremely hostile; they could see I was upset. They allowed me to call my partner in the car (I promptly burst into tears) but 'gave' me about 30 seconds before threatening to take the phone away from me.

They didn't lock me in a cell which I was grateful for but they do treat you like the scum of the earth. I was shaking and tearful. Not that I expected them to give me a cuppa and say there there but I felt there was no need to treat me like I'd just killed an old lady and her puppies.

When I got home I went into complete shock and had a full on panic attack to which an ambulance was called.

The next day I was in tears all day, felt extremely ashamed, sorry, regretful and frankly utterly stupid. This has stayed and probably will for a while.

I also feel terrified of court and the sentence.
 
When i got caught, it honestly wasnt the first time I had driven while having drank but each time I did I always felt I was undder the limit or absolutely fine.
I was on my way home for work but had had a few drinks with a meal. I thought the fact that I had ate meant I would be fine. I didn't feel any issues when I drove and really thought I was ok. I was on my way home when I heard a scrapping noise from the car and thought my exhaust had dropped. I pulled over the check (it hadn't, it was just the heat guard) and the police pulled in behind me. As soon as I saw them I knew I was in trouble. They asked if I had been drinking and I told them honestly yes and what I had, I was breathalysed and arrested. The police who arrested me were fine, they didnt handcuff me or judge me or anything. I was taken to the police station and processed which was scary as I had never been in trouble before ever. I started to panic myself. I was unable to do the breath test in station as I am an asthmatic and panbicking and simply couldnt manage it. I had a blood test and was put in a cell until the doctor arrived. That was the scariest part of the process. Once I had the test I was free to go and had to wait for the results.
I woke up the next day and was absolutely disgusted with myself, I couldnt believe what I had done. There was no good reason for me to drive and no excuse. I had to wait for eight weeks for the result of the blood test (which i was well over) and then another few months until the court date. It was six months fromm my arrest that I was processed. Those were the worst six months I have ever endured. That constant panic when the post arrives, worrying every time the door went and not to mention the thought of the court date itself.
I got a solicitor and having someone speak for me in court made all the difference, not neccesarily to the outcome but the experience. I got a £600 fine and a 12 month ban, with the option of the course. I am due to go on the course over the next two weeks and am nervous about it as well.
If I had to sum up my feelings thoughtout the process, it would be dread when I saw the police car, apprehension at the station, dissappointment in myself at what I had done and then acceptance of my punishment.
The onyl part I have an issue with is the delay from offence to convinction. That was the worse period of my life and I dont think i deserved that level of punishment on top of my ban and fine. I accept that I committed a criminal offence but feel the punishment has to fit the crime and a 12 month ban and hefty fine as a punishment, six additional months of metal anguish on top is unfair.
 

Anothersillyfool

Well-known member
Ooh, You've given a whole Carte Blanche here. It's not often people ask for this perspective.

I was convicted in Feb this year, and theoretically my ban was up two days ago (well, actually my ban is up, but I don't have any paperwork as yet) but it has been the most humiliating 9 months of my life.

I was stopped leaving a supermarket at stupid o clock in the morning. I know I was followed by a police car to the supermarket, but I wasn't even remotely bothered as I didn't feel I was anywhere near being over the limit. I had drunk a glass and a half of wine three hours earlier and figured it was well and truly out of my system. I was well and truly wrong.

My roadside breathtest was 60mg, and although the arresting PC was courteous, and I'd go as far as to say 'lovely', I was still stuffed into the back of a tiny police van. A bit like being behind a dog guard. In fact the PC was so nice, he even said told me not to worry about the reading, I was aghast, and he said "I've seen higher, by the time we get you back to the station it will have gone down, if it's below a certain level we probably won't get the doc out".

But the damage was done. I'm not claiming to be the Arch Angel Gabriel, but equally I've never been in trouble with the police or any bugger else for that matter. So I'm in the Police Station, trying to do a breath test, and I'm one step ahead of myself, in my head trying to explain to my mum and dad, and my employers and my friends and blah blah blah, and four attempts later I still can't do a breath test.

I couldn't do it. I have no explanation, in fact I can't understand why it didn't work, I did EVERYTHING that 'Copper' asked me to do. I managed partial readings of 48 to 66. Because I couldn't give a full reading, I am now classed as a High Risk Offender, and need to pay for a medical to get my licence back as well as having a higher insurance premium.

I can't even begin to explain how humiliating it was for me. It still is. Having to admit you have a drink drive charge against you. It's so easy to label and judge people you don't know, and I even have aquaintances happy to prejudge drink drivers, and they don't know about me.

I am expecting to be able to drive within the next couple of months. I feel hard done by, because I've been penalised for being nervous. But I'm happy that I learned my lesson without any accident.

Maybe you have to be put in that situation to realise how awful it is. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. My family and friends have stood by me, but because they know me. I am one of the lucky ones, and |I appreciate that.
 

Trigger3

Member
My reading was 45mg & I was not drunk, I was banned for 12 months & fined £185.

I did not know there is a compulsory ban for even 1mg over their limit, which I disagree with. I thought I'd get points & a fine as I'm always reading about stabbings, rapes, assaults, robberies & drug dealers getting off scot-free, I have not committed any serious offence by driving slightly over their limit.

As a result of this harsh treatment, I now have a seething hatred for this country, it's police & it's politicians, I used to be proud of Britain, now I despise it.
 

new_pedestrian

Well-known member
My reading was 45mg & I was not drunk, I was banned for 12 months & fined £185.

I did not know there is a compulsory ban for even 1mg over their limit, which I disagree with. I thought I'd get points & a fine as I'm always reading about stabbings, rapes, assaults, robberies & drug dealers getting off scot-free, I have not committed any serious offence by driving slightly over their limit.

As a result of this harsh treatment, I now have a seething hatred for this country, it's police & it's politicians, I used to be proud of Britain, now I despise it.
The legal limit is 35mg for breath, so with respect 45 isn't only 1mg over. They don't usually prosecute if you blow under 40mg, so they do give some leeway above the legal limit. Whether the driver thinks they're drunk or not isn't really something that's taken into account unless you can demonstrate that your drinks were spiked.

To be fair to the cops, the police don't make the laws, they just enforce them. To be fair to the politicians, they respond to public opinion, the media, pressure from road safety groups and any number of other lobbies.

To be fair to the country in general, you get tighter limits and harsher penalties in most other countries.

In the UK you can technically get a £5000 fine and prison for drunk driving and the average is a long way short of that. A 12-month ban and £185 fine is pretty good compared to what a lot of people get!

Were you offered the course? If you did and you successfully complete it then your ban will be reduced to only 9 months. When you read some of the stories on this forum about people who've had accidents or been handed 3-year bans, you're really at the fortunate end of the drink-driving scale.
 

DMR

Member
My reading was 45mg & I was not drunk, I was banned for 12 months & fined £185.

I did not know there is a compulsory ban for even 1mg over their limit, which I disagree with. I thought I'd get points & a fine as I'm always reading about stabbings, rapes, assaults, robberies & drug dealers getting off scot-free, I have not committed any serious offence by driving slightly over their limit.

As a result of this harsh treatment, I now have a seething hatred for this country, it's police & it's politicians, I used to be proud of Britain, now I despise it.
Sometimes people just don't realise how lucky we are in this country. You were over the limit, and not "just over" either, take it on the chin like everyone else has to. If you hate this country that much go and chance it in Iraq, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Romania... then see what you think.
 

deviousdee1

Active member
My reading was 45mg & I was not drunk, I was banned for 12 months & fined £185.

I did not know there is a compulsory ban for even 1mg over their limit, which I disagree with. I thought I'd get points & a fine as I'm always reading about stabbings, rapes, assaults, robberies & drug dealers getting off scot-free, I have not committed any serious offence by driving slightly over their limit.

As a result of this harsh treatment, I now have a seething hatred for this country, it's police & it's politicians, I used to be proud of Britain, now I despise it.

I kind of agree with the hatred. I was spiked and had been home for a while before I was arrested. As I couldn't afford the solicitors to prove it and the fact the BAC test I had couldn't be used I had to suck up my conviction and take the ban. I still feel angry with the police and I don't look forward to getting my license back as I know I'll get stopped lots and fleeced by the insurance brokers. If the police had used a bit of judgement on the night it happened and seen I'd gotten home fine and no one had been hurt I wouldn't be in this situation now. I do blame the politicians for putting pressure on the police to get convictions. Its a money making game pure and simple.
 
I unfortunately got caught by the police for drink driving this last Friday. I actually thought I was fit to drive the 25 miles to Andover but the weather was really bad and visibility low. I missed the turn-off and pulled into a lay-by. A minute later, a police car pulled up along side me and one of the officers asked if I was ok. I said I had just missed the turning and needed to find my map to see where the next one was. They drove off. I drove down a narrow lane in the middle of nowhere and my car's electrics failed (the alternator had started failing a few days earlier). Worried about being lost, cold and bad phone signal, I stayed in the car. It was close to midnight. A police car drove up and I explained what had happened. It turned out to be the same police car from earlier. They thought I had fallen asleep which I had not. They sunsequently asked if I had been drinking. I had two large glasses of wine earlier in the day but felt fine, despite being tired and stressed with life. I had to do a breath test and it recorded a high reading.
I was shocked and then alarmed. To make matters worse, I was arrested, taken to the station and asked to do another breath test. I was so nervous I kept panicking whilst breathing into the machine. The arresting officers were very patient but warned me that persistent failure may look like an avoidance and I could be done for refusing to do the test. That made me even more panicky! My level was 70mg.
After spending the night in a cell, I was quizzed by two young female officers and one found it hard to believe I had only consumed what I told the other officers (two large glasses of red wine). I did explain I am not a regular drinker but did have some wine earlier in the day as I was feeling stressed and a bit down. I often found that a drink consumed could take a few hours or more before I felt any effect. This may have happened.
Basically, I was charged and driven back to my broken down car. My court case date was given to me by the sergeant for two week's time. Needless to say I am very nervous as well as embarrassed, humiliated and feel such a stupid fool. Fortunately my fiance is very understanding. According to what we researched both on this website and elsewhere, I can expect an 18-month driving ban and a fine. I am very nervous about court and feel like such an idiot as well as a criminal.
I do, however, do not have anger towards the police or the court. I know I did a really stupid thing that is so out of character and deserve the punishment.
 

uklegendman

Well-known member
Sorry to awaken this ancient thread but itinteresting how people felt when collared by the law.

When I saw the lights flashing I knew strait away I was well over the limit having had about 8 pints and 4-5 shots.

I could seewhat the police were trying to do with the good cop bad cop routine, have to admit even with my booze fuelled confidence I did feel a bit intimidated by this.

I have to say I do not feel any bitterness towards the police and I even feel I deserve to be given the old scare em strait routine . I suppose you just have to go with it and say the right things sometime.

Anyway I think before this happened if I heard of someone who has a criminal record and a drink driving conviction against them I would make assumptions about them.

Thats what people do to me now when actually im just like most on this forum hard working with family always on the right side of the law.
 

Anothersillyfool

Well-known member
Sorry to awaken this ancient thread but itinteresting how people felt when collared by the law.

When I saw the lights flashing I knew strait away I was well over the limit having had about 8 pints and 4-5 shots.

I could seewhat the police were trying to do with the good cop bad cop routine, have to admit even with my booze fuelled confidence I did feel a bit intimidated by this.

I have to say I do not feel any bitterness towards the police and I even feel I deserve to be given the old scare em strait routine . I suppose you just have to go with it and say the right things sometime.

Anyway I think before this happened if I heard of someone who has a criminal record and a drink driving conviction against them I would make assumptions about them.

Thats what people do to me now when actually im just like most on this forum hard working with family always on the right side of the law.
I'd say rarely should you apologise for resurrecting an old thread. It makes people remember the ****ty place they were in, and it makes new people realise exactly how many repercussions something like this can have.
I'm thankfully three years down the line, but the real impact is no less for me, a best friend from USA came to visit at Christmas, and I promised I'd return the favour. Only I have to declare my conviction and probably apply for a special visa. It sticks like ****, and I've probably another eight years to go before this is off my record.
None of us can blame the Police, we were all over the limit. I was incensed that I was stopped in the first place, and I still have doubts over the validity of stopping me, but I can't argue with an initial breath test. I struggle with the functionality of the Intoxylizer, I still think I gave reasonable breath samples, and for the life of me can't understand why anyone would pretend to not give a reasonable specimen, as the outcome is considerably worse, however, fundamentally, I must have been over the limit. The End.
I think uklegendman you've had a horrible experience. One you'll learn from, but you, I and countless others have only to be thankful that no other person was injured, and we don't have that guilt to live with.
Actually it will surprise you how many people will be there for you, your true friends and family. They might call you a cock, but they'll love you regardless.
We've made a mistake, a bloody big one, but one we know we won't repeat.

I wish you the very best, and be sure not everyone is judging you as harshly as you're judging yourself.
 

Samhxcuk

Member
I'm thankfully three years down the line, but the real impact is no less for me, a best friend from USA came to visit at Christmas, and I promised I'd return the favour.
Slightly off topic but I've been to America twice in the last 12 months whilst I've been banned and used an ESTA - a single drink drive ban is not considered a crime of moral teptitude and this does not need to be declared. Email the American customs and border security before getting a visa (the us embassy will tell you that you NEED a visa when you don't)

If your offence is through more than one mitigating factor - drink driving and cause of injury to others - then you would need to apply, otherwise don't fret - there is a huge thread on these forums here - is highly reccomend you read it - it's got me through a lot of my anxiety and after two wonderful holidays in the USA I can now travel confidently

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