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Real Talk: I was arrested for driving under the influence

Hey guys! This is my Real Talk series where I interview real college students about their experiences and situations. Today I'm talking with a 27-year-old senior who was arrested for driving while drunk. He has chosen to remain anonymous for this interview

Tell us a little about yourself and your relationship with alcohol at the time.

I'm 27-year-old senior now, but when I was arrested I was 23. I didn't really start drinking until I was 22. I would have a few beers every once and awhile, but not too frequent or heavy. Most times when I did drink, I wouldn't even be buzzed by the time I was done.

What happened the night of your DUI charge? 

 I had gotten off work at 11 p.m. and went to a friend's party. I knew I was going to get at least a little drunk and most nights I would have crashed on his couch. But that night a different friend had already gotten drunk by the time I got to the party.

As I started drinking, she was also drinking way past her limit. It got to nearly 4 a.m. and she started demanding to be taken home. At the time I felt perfectly ok, so I offered to drive her home. I get her to her place and on the way to my house everything hit me. I passed out. The next thing I know someone is waking me up asking if I am ok. The cops show up, my car was totaled and I was still pretty drunk.

What was going through your head when you were getting arrested? Booked? 

Once I started to sober up, all I could think about was losing my job and as a result not being able to afford the court process. Also, it was a few months before I was moving to Arlington for college. So, I thought I messed that up too.

Who was really there to support you through this situation? Both during and after? 

Surprising to me, my parents were there for me the whole time. They were initially angry because I could have gotten hurt, but after that they calmed down and helped me out when I needed it. Whether it was financially (your first DUI costs in the upper $10,000s and $20,000 ish when you're convicted) or even when I needed to find a temporary car to get to work.

What was your court experience like?

Court was interesting at best because it took a long time for anything to happen. I was in court limbo for nearly a half year. I had already moved to a different city and started college before I even knew what was going to happen. They could have decided to throw me in jail or whatever.

They ended up striking a weird deal: I never got convicted because the only witness who saw me in the driver's seat moved out of state and couldn't be subpoenaed. I got off on a weird technicality, except the deal was to avoid trial (where I definitely would have lost even without the witness). So, I still had to do community service and be on probation for a 18 months.

What were some of the immediate repercussions? Long Term?

Immediate repercussions were pretty limited. I had to cut back on spending, but when you aren't drinking or hanging out at bars, saving money is pretty easy. Long term would be debt. I mostly owe my parents money now, which I pay off like a loan. When this happened I was paying court fees, lawyer fees, breathalyzer fees and I lost track of all the other fees. Between that and school I burned through my savings account.

How has this experience influenced your life? Has it changed your outlook on alcohol?

I can't really say that it has influenced too much in my life. It is more of a sticky note on a wall full of things. Alcohol is fine as long as the right precautions are taken. Uber is my best friend now.

What would you tell someone who occasionally drives buzzed or drunk?

I could do the normal spiel about just not doing it, but realistically whoever is reading this doesn't know me. So, why pay attention to that. What I would say is asking your drunk friends if they think you are ok to drive is just as stupid as trying to figure it out on your own. They are drunk too. They don't know anything.

If you'd like to be interviewed for my Real Talk series, email me at with the subject line "Real Talk"

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