DUI Payback!

Well this isn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but a drunk driver is in jail.

Some of you may have read this post about my daughter being in an accident caused by a drunk driver. I tow cars for one of my part-time employers and deal with the carnage caused by DUI drivers nearly every weekend. To have her nearly killed by one really lit my fuse, and last night thru this morning was payback time.

Our local police department is contracted thru the County Sheriff’s Office, and they decided to set up a DUI checkpoint on one of our connector roads between our city and a neighboring one about 8 miles away.

About 9:00PM the calls starting roaring in and I was the only one on call for my company. The Sheriff’s Dept. calls tows on a rotating basis, working off a list each company has to be California Highway Patrol approved to get on.

The site chosen wasn’t exactly the prime location, as there were too many ways a car, seeing the lights ahead, could simply turn off down another street. Realizing this, the Sergeant in charge of the operation sent his motorcycle police after the one’s he thought were avoiding the checkpoint, while also lighting up the ones with equipment violations (lights burned out, etc.).

Most turned out to be “no tener una licencia”, if you get the local drift, and in these cases the vehicles are impounded for 30 days, and sold if not claimed. Good business in these parts.

After about 1AM I figured I’d seen the last of them, so I shut off the shop TV, where I’d been watching “Band of Brothers” on the History Channel between calls, and I headed for home.

I wasn’t asleep for long, when far off in the distance my Nextel started going off. Voice at the other end said;

“CHP needs you for a vehicle accident,” and the location they gave was out past farm fields to the coast highway.

I looked at the California Highway Patrol webpage where I saw this;

4:08AM    VEH VS BRICK WALL D/VEH 1124 [left abandoned]

4:08AM    BASE PD 1097 [Naval Base Ventura County on-scene]

I knew 11-25 meant some puissant was probably drunk, hit a wall, and is now trying to stagger home to sleep it off and report his vehicle stolen in the morning. Happens way too often and rarely do we get paid, since idiots like this often have no insurance. Great.

Got my truck fired up and headed out to the main road toward the naval base some ten miles from where I was blearily pouring cold coffee down, hoping the lights wouldn’t change. I was too tired to take my foot off the accelerator and put it on the brake.

On the police scanner, I heard the CHP units on scene were thinking they had an injured party in the immediate area, were requesting a copter and expanding their search. Dispatch was calling all the local hospitals, to no avail. What happened next would cause CHP to cancel their search.

I was about three miles away from the scene and had my eyes open for a possible pedestrian in the dark, when up ahead staggering in the darkness on the road was a guy with a shaved head, knees ripped out of his jeans, and as I slammed on the brakes I called 911 and had CHP on the line in my Bluetooth as I backed up to the guy.

I turned the scanner down and played dumb with him, saying he looked like crap and asking him if he was alright. On closer inspection he had blood on the back of his head

I got him to get in (probably not a smart idea), and told him I could take him to a phone, basically just kept chattering at him. I got his home phone number and kept calling it, never getting any answer. He was complaining his chest hurt and maybe I should take him to a hospital? I agreed and kept trying his number. He was so happy not to be outside in the cold it took him a while to realize I was taking him closer from where he wanted to be, instead of farther away.

Not being sure exactly where the T/C scene was, having looked at the website it gave the location as;


This would indicate to me I had to get on the freeway on the north bound onramp, so I did. No flashing lights. Dang!

I tried calling 911 by hitting re-dial on my bluetooth and found out the scene was in fact across the freeway on the road I was formerly on, now I was headed the wrong way and nowhere to turn around for a mile. Double dang!

By this time my passenger was getting somewhat anxious and no amount of re-dialing his house would settle him down, so he got out on the southbound on ramp to Highway 1 and staggered off into the darkness.

Still on line with CHP, I pulled off onto the shoulder and tried to direct the two units to where the guy was, but after I lost sight of him in the darkness I took off and went to the scene where the navy base police were waiting.

Scanner cranked back up, we were cheering the “home team” on as they finally got the guy in custody and into an ambulance.

Meanwhile I looked at the vehicle. Not wearing a seatbelt, head and hand hit the shattered glass of the windshield, and knee marks in the lower dash. Only thing saving the guy from a chest full of broken ribs was the airbag rushing at him from the opposite direction. Still, no wonder his chest hurt!

38 years old, this guy still is out doing incredibly stupid things with a car, and endangering all of us with that stupidity.

Being all-wheel drive, not having keys, and the front wheels being turned just enough to make it loads of fun to load and unload, not to mention the transmission fluid the car leaked all over my newly steam-cleaned bed, I didn’t feel bad at all at throwing all the oil soaked cat litter, and car parts scattered around the scene on top of his stuff in the car. He’ll be fun to deal with when he comes in to get it out.

It’s enough to know the only night the guy ruined was his own.