Sunday, August 13, 2006

Company picnic & DUI (almost)

Friday we went to the beach for a company picnic. It was fun to get everyone out of the office together. The beach was cold - as it always is, but fun. This particular beach is chock full of driftwood and somebody with too much time on their hands built a make-shift house out of it. (See it over there on the left?) The guys built a structure of their own with driftwood. (I think it was meant to be a bonfire - but no one had matches.)

There was also a dead seal or sea lion washed up here. Freaky.

After the beach we went to Cameron's English Pub on HWY 1 near Half Moon Bay. I had a "mudball". It's a pint of Guinness with a scoop of chocolate ice cream. It was weird. Then they brought us another because someone else had ordered one and then backed out. No one wanted it - so I had myself another! (I won't be having any more, though!)

On the way back home I got off at Woodside and headed for a cheap gas station to fill up. There was a checkpoint, so I showed my driver's license. To my horror the officer asked if I'd had anything to drink. Well, I try not to lie as a rule, so I just said, "two beers". THEN they pulled me out of the bus (did I mention I was driving my pride and joy bus?!?!) and another officer drove it around the corner. I walked around the corner with the first officer and proceeded to do some really weird tests. Basically it went like this:

1) Verbal Assessment:
Officer - What did you drink?
JASE - Two pints of Guinness. With chocolate ice cream in them!
Officer - Did you have anything to eat?
JASE - Well, we had just been to a company picnic at the beach down the road and I had a big sandwich and a bunch of chips and stuff. I also had some onion rings at the bar.
Officer - Do you still weigh 200 pounds? (Looking at license.)
JASE - Well, I think I'm down to 195 now - I've been riding my bike in to work a bit.
Officer - Have your passengers had anything to drink?
JASE - Yes.
Officer - How long ago did you have your drinks?
JASE - Um, I'm not sure. I don't have a watch. The guys wanted to go because it was getting close to seven o'clock, and then I got a little gas to get me over the mountain ridge and the sign said it was like 12 minutes from HWY 1 to 280, so... it might be around 7:30 now.

2) Physical Assessment:
Officer - OK, now I'm going to ask you to do a couple physical tests. I'm going to demonstrate them first and then you can ask me any questions you have before you do them. OK?
JASE - OK - I've never done this before. I can feel myself shaking a bit.
Officer - That's OK, I'll take it into account.
JASE - ...
Officer - OK first one. Stand with your feet together, arms to your side, lean your head back and close your eyes. Count 30 seconds.
JASE - OK (I do it. I can instantly see why this would be bad for someone drunk. I can feel myself wavering. I tense up and concentrate on counting. I count one-oneThousand, two-oneThousand... I count to 31 just to make sure. Then I stop and look at him. "OK"
Officer - OK, good. Next test.
JASE - Wait, how close was I to 30 seconds?
Officer - Huh? Oh, right on.
JASE - Cool.
Officer - OK next test. Stand with your feet together, point with your index fingers out to the side, lean your head back and close your eyes. Touch your finger to your nose with the hand I call out. Touch the tip of your finger to the tip of your nose.
Officer - Right, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Left
JASE - I do it and I do it really slow, visualizing my finger and my nose. I nail it every time. Sometimes it pays to be an artist with spacial intelligence. :)
Officer - OK next test. Stand with you feet together, arms to your side and lift one foot off the ground in front of you about 6 inches high until I say stop. Then do the other one.
JASE - I look at the ground. "It's a little uneven over here on the shoulder of the road, sir."
Officer - You want to go over to the sidewalk?
JASE - Yeah, that'd be better. (He leads me over there.)
Officer - OK Ready?
JASE - Yeah. I do it. I balance really well because I've been riding my bike to work and I have THIGHS OF STEEL!
Officer - I'm speechless. (OK he didn't say that - but he didn't say anything.)

3) Breath Assessment:
Officer - OK now you can do a breathalizer test if you want. It's not required but we can finish this a lot faster if you do it. I don't think you'll have any trouble passing this part based on how you did on the other parts. The legal limit is 0.8, but we'll take you in if you blow a 0.4 or higher. We don't want to be responsible if you hit someone later.
JASE - What do you mean "hit someone"?
Officer - Like - get in an accident.
JASE - Oh, I thought you thought I was going to punch someone for some reason.
Officer - Uh, no. So do you want to do the test?
JASE - I'm actually really curious to see what I'd blow after two drinks and an hour of time. But I'm really freaking out that it could be horribly wrong and I'll get a ticket and my insurance will go up and...
Officer - I don't think it'll be a problem really.
JASE - OK let's try it.
Officer - (aside: Hey (someone) get me a test unit.) OK take a deep breath and blow into this tube as hard as you can.
JASE - Has this unit been used already today or been recalibrated before this test?
Officer - This is the first time it has been used.
JASE - OK Breaths in...
Officer - No you can't hold it - I gotta hold it - it's expensive equipment.
Officer - OK deep breath again and blow.
JASE - Blows. A loooooong time. The thing clicks.
Officer - OK - He pulls it away and waits. You blew a 0.00
JASE - What?
Officer - Yeah - I guess 2 beers is fine for your weight.
JASE - Really? Is it correct?
Officer - We can try it again to make sure.
Officer - OK Blow
JASE - Blows
Officer - Oop, no - gotta do it again.
JASE - OK - Blows after he resets the thing.
Officer - Yup - 0.00 again. (Another officer comes up and asks what's up.) Nope he's fine. Just educational here now. Blew a 0.00.
JASE - Sweet.
Officer - Yeah - my limit is 2 beers too. You'd probably be OK with 3, but better keep it at 2.
JASE - Wow - that's cool, because my wife is always giving me flak about having a couple drinks.
Officer - Well, now you have proof that you're fine.
JASE - Cool.
Officer - OK Thanks for going through this with me - have a good night.
JASE - Thank you officer. I walk back to the bus and Kaan and AJ.

We go get gas and drive home. What an interesting day indeed. One observation. The police officers of the Menlo Park / Atherton / Redwood city are VERY polite and quite good looking. (AJ concurs.)


Mom said...

both you and the officer were VERY talkative...

care-bear1 said...

Nice! I enjoyed the play-by-play you had with the police officer.

Kerri said...

You are just too much. I thought you sounded quite like me - extra friendly to the officer and such....

Today, the part of kerri sox will be played by....jase.


robyn & jorge said...

I just found this site of yours! so funny, your encounter with the breathalizer... I miss you guys, and SF looks like a fun and beautiful place. Why am I still in Albany?

Jim said...

That was very entertaining! Thanks!

JASE - Yeah. I do it. I balance really well because I've been riding my bike to work and I have THIGHS OF STEEL!