My daughter just got arrested this morning - for DUI!!!

@jerzgirl (7978)
Gloucester City, New Jersey
August 17, 2008 8:53am CST
As I type, she is sitting in a police station up in Central Jersey, chained to a bench, waiting for her boyfriend to bring her home. They won't allow her to drive for a minimum of 12 hours and she can't pick up her car until tomorrow because the towing company they used, despite being able to tow it today, won't open for pick up until tomorrow. Neither do the police have any idea (they claim) how much it will cost her to get her car out. They didn't give her the option of having someone else come to drive the car home. She did just text me to say that they told her it would be just over $100. They're probably low-balling it, but still....better than not knowing anything. She has no money and the only money I have is the still uncashed unemployment check that's in my purse. She claims she hasn't had anything to drink since last night, but she was at my mother's house until around 10PM. Since she didn't start drinking until AFTER she left here, I know darned well she was drinking in the wee hours of the morning. And, they pulled her over at 8AM. I don't know where she was coming from, but she was headed northbound on Rt 130 when she should have been going southbound. I know her well enough to know that if she gets twisted up like that, she's not as aware of her surroundings as she should be. Her breathilizer showed 5 pts above limit. I'm assuming that means 1.3. I've told her to never drive after a night of drinking and she keeps saying she doesn't, even though I know better. It's been a while, I'll admit, that she has - but, part of that is because she's almost always with her boyfriend and HE does the driving. This was not a phone call I wanted to have this morning (although it could have been far worse). I didn't yell, I didn't say "I told you so" (she knows I have), but I really would have rather not gotten a call from her in jail. That's a call I expect more from her brother. Now we get to deal with the reality of our newly reduced Insurance Rates going back up again in a state already having the highest Insurance Rates in the country. And, if she loses her license, she'll lose her job because there is no public transportation from where our apartment is to where her job is. I used to hate when my father drank and drove - especially if he was making me go with him. He used to scare the hell out of me. And, he was a mean drunk - with me, anyway, so that only made it worse because he'd yell at me for being afraid. Not that that has anything to do with this, but her actions sure brought on that memory. I don't even know if I should tell my mother, who is 91. She's already loaning me money so I can file bankruptcy. I hate to load her up with yet another negative in my life. And, I don't want her to think less of my daughter because I've been so proud of my daughter because of her independence and determination to succeed in life. She has been doing so much better than I ever did. One part of me wants to scream, one part of me is thinking "Why me??" and yet another part of me is trying to figure out how I can help her. So....now that I've got that out of my system for a while, have you ever had to deal with anything with your child or children that put you into a series of mixed emotions and internal questions? If not, tell me how you would have reacted and what you would have done if this had happened to you.
6 people like this
10 responses
• Regina, Saskatchewan
17 Aug 08
I think you handled it just right sweets. You have to think too how SHE feels chained to a bench in a police station. Hopefully she'll be scared/humiliated into not letting that ever happen again. The first time my youngest found himself in a police station facing charges (tresspassing of all things on an abandoned lot!), it really woke him up to the kinds of things that go on and how people end up there. So let's hope it's a lesson well learned for your daughter and you won't be getting anymore calls like this from her in the future.
2 people like this
@jerzgirl (7978)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
24 Jun 09
At the time, she said she'd never been so humiliated in her life and never ever wanted to experience it again. She learned a lot. She lost her license for seven months. Now has her own insurance on her car. She really took it to heart and swore to never repeat it. Yes, I'm late. I'm late on everything in my life these days. But, I wanted to answer this one before I awarded the BR.
1 person likes this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
24 Jun 09
Thanks for the BR, and it's been 11 months since you posted this, so I'm thinking (and based on your response) that she learned her lesson and there's been no repeat! Good for her, and good for you for being there for her! Well done both of you!
@di1159 (1580)
• United States
17 Aug 08
Wow, I can feel your pain through your writing. I wouldn't tell your mom. Anyone 91 years old doesn't need that kind of griet. Perhaps a friend can lend you the money to retrieve the car. You need to get it out, because those towing agencies charge on a daily basis for storage. That's first. Then you need to have a serious heart to heart with your daughter. This mistake is going to be an expensive one, however it could have been a lot worse. She could have killed herself or an innocent person. You might want to consult with an attorney. There are many who can give you advice without a fee, or someone can take the case on a pro bono basis. This will help protect her legal rights, and help her keep her license. If she need to make arrangements for public transporation, she will need to get up earlier or do whatever necessary to make it to work. It's a punishment she needs in order to have a wake up call and understand the severity of her situation. She will also need to do community hours and probably attend some AA meetings in order to show willingness on her part to cooperate with the authorities. She's lucky to be alive and have you for support. One step at a time and this too will work out. I wish you both well.
2 people like this
@gabs8513 (48717)
• United Kingdom
17 Aug 08
It is true what they say that it does not get easier at all when they get older Yes I have had Days where my Emotions have been mixed with my Kids the latest one was the split between my Son and his Fiancee My Son only ever got behind the Wheel once after drinking and never again after that as it caused a bad Attack on my side and left me Ill for a while, he felt so bad, I understand his mind was a Mess that Night but......... So he never did it again after that I hope that your Daughter does not loose her license so she does not loose her Job but really she should have known better and I really hope this teaches her a Lesson, I really do. Everyone learns by their Mistake but I really hope it is not going to be to tough on her
2 people like this
@kimbers867 (2540)
• United States
17 Aug 08
Sorry for your day starting out so bad Jerzgirl. My brother and his family live in NJ, so I understand about the high insurance bills. I hope this teaches her a valuable lesson. I hope whoever she gets the money to help her in this situation, makes her pay it back. Hopefully doing without will teach her some.
2 people like this
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
3 Feb 09
Yes...I have a daughter that was in constant trouble. She was thrown in jail at 17 and splashed across the front page of the newspaper for recieving stolen property. She did not know it was stolen....her boyfriend was breaking and entering places while she was at work. She believed him when he said he got things at flea markets etc. I warned her prior to getting busted as i knew what he was up to. she didn't listen and she went down with him. I could not bail her out. she learned. Still she learns everything the hard way. She, too, has drinks and drives. She doesn't drink a lot but now it doesn't take much. just the other day she got in a fender bender and had to do the breathalizer...she was just shy of dwi. I love her to pieces but she does make some really poor choices at times. She did get it for open container and unbeknown to me...she was driving without a licence. She did know enough not to call me for bail. I know it is hard but sometimes you have to let them crawl their way back up and maybe fall again...it is how they learn. My daughter has come a long way but obviously still has much to learn. I do know that torn feeling that you have...wanting to help & trying to be tough...it is hard isn't it? As for telling your mom....I would not. My daughter moved out of my home and in with another girl who has a license but no vehicle. She lets her drive her vehicle as long she gets rides to and from work. It's been a couple of weeks and so far it is working for her. Maybe your daughter can find a co-worker to give her rides and pay her gas money?
1 person likes this
@jerzgirl (7978)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
3 Feb 09
My daughter actually had a ride lined up before she went to court the final time. One of her bosses has to drive past the apartment every day, so he picks her up and brings her home since it's on his way. They've been really good to her - he even teases her when she gets picked up by me or someone else for something about how miserable his ride home will be without her to pick on, and then proceeds to tease her about where she used to live, etc. They're a good bunch of people and she's a really good kid, other than bouts of misjudgment. My mother used to tell me "put your foot down" about this or that and would get mad if I said, "She's an adult and needs to make her own mistakes - I can't punish her for being stupid." She thought I should wield some sort of control over her forever, I guess, like she tried to do with me. I'll help my daughter when I can, but she has to fix her own problems for the most part. She's into me for about $500 for impound fees and lawyer's fees, and that wasn't easy since I've been on unemployment all year. But, I happened to have it and willingly shared it with her. She's paid some of it back, but there's more to go. I'll get it when I get it, I suppose. My mother covered some of my mistakes for me. The least I can do is the same for my daughter.
1 person likes this
@Meljep (1668)
• United States
18 Aug 08
It's heartbreaking to hear what you are going through. I agree with the other posters though who said she needs to take responsibility for her own actions. It was not your car that got towed, or you who got drunk. Sometimes the best way to get people back on the straight and narrow and prevent a worse train wreck is tough love. She probably won't like it when you tell her to take responsibility, but she will thank you later on down the road. If you bail her out you are enabling her to act like this again. I'm sorry for your pain and hope things get better.
@jerzgirl (7978)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
19 Aug 08
She is taking responsibility for her misdeeds. We both know this may cost her a lot. Her boss has already implied that she may not have a job after she gets out of court tomorrow even though other employees regularly miss work, sometimes not even bothering to call in. I will not be helping her financially with the exception of loaning her the money to get her car out of impound. It is paid for (by her) and is her first car that she worked hard to get. I was not about to allow this act of stupidity to cost her something she truly earned. Plus, my name is on the title, so neither was I about to lose something that is legally mine, even if it is only for insurance purposes. I do not even pay for her insurance - she pays her half and I pay my half. But, I will stand with her and help lead her through the steps she needs to take to deal with this. The first step is talking to an attorney - something they didn't even give her time to do since they scheduled her for court tomorrow morning at 9am, even though it is a 2 hr drive from where we live to get there. So, she will be asking for a continuance in order to seek counsel from an attorney. I hope they get better, too. She cannot afford this - she knows she screwed up, but until now, her driving record was clean. This could throw her so far in the hole that she can't get out at all. Without a car, she can't work and without work she can't pay her fines. There is no public transportation were our apartment is, so driving is an absolute necessity.
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
18 Aug 08
Sorry to see that this has happened to you and your daughter. Sometimes no matter how a person is trying to live their life bad things happen. My children are sort of young but I do have one that has a list of medical issues that has made me some what crazy at times. I hope that everything works out as good as it can for you and her. I can't really offer anymore than that since my mixed emotions that my children have caused are completely different and I am extremely unperpared for a DUI arrest being my oldest is 12 lol.
1 person likes this
@jerzgirl (7978)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
18 Aug 08
I agree with you - I wouldn't be prepared (and no one should be) for a DUI from a 12-yr-old!! LOL But, hold on your your hat - the hormone years are coming!!
• United States
18 Aug 08
I am very sorry that you are bearing this load. I to know the weight of financial, family and other problems all at once. The only advice I can give concerning your daughter is to love her the best you can and remember that this is all just temporary.
1 person likes this
@cbreeze (1207)
• United States
17 Aug 08
I'm sorry to hear of your problems. I would definitely not tell my 91 year old mother about the situation. You daughter sounds like a pretty responsible and determined young lady so this incident will probably teach her a good lesson. And like so many others have commented, this could have been so much worse. Thank GOD she was not harmed in some tragic accident.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Aug 08
Been there, done that. Nothing for you to do except make sure she jumps thru all the hoops to maintain her drivers license. You know it could have been MUCH worse. Let's hope daughter dear is aware of that. Young people make foolish choices and the ones that don't have the resources to make it 'go away' are put in the system for years. Wea ll know the kid with the clunker loses his driving privledge while the kid with the Lexus gets a slap on the wrist! Best advice is DO NOT get caught up in a system that is stacked against you.