I don’t think anyone who drinks and drives predicted they’d ever be in that situation. Nobody wakes up in the morning and plans to drive drunk that night. The day it happened to me, everything just flew by so fast. But it was this one mistake that cost me my life and my future. I have failed myself and anyone who depends on me. This has been the biggest failure of my life, and I am reminded of it every minute of every day.

I was having a couple of drinks with some coworkers after work. We typically do this once a month or so without getting rowdy or anything. But this day was different—I hadn’t eaten anything all day. Completely unusual for me. I went out after work and drank the same amount as I always had, but I felt it pretty quick. I was enjoying my buzz when suddenly it was 11:00 and everyone was filing out. I knew I felt worse than normal, but I convinced myself I was still okay to drive. Nobody asked me how I was doing or mentioned anything about my demeanor so I figured I looked okay, too.

I was pretty confident while driving home. It was only a 10-minute drive so I really didn’t think I had anything to worry about. Then, all of a sudden I noticed those flashing lights behind me. I didn’t realize how fast I was going because I stopped pretty short and pulled over. I rolled my window down and the police officer shone her flashlight in my eyes. She said I smelled like beer. I said I had a couple of drinks with my coworkers a few hours ago but tried to assure her it was nothing out of the ordinary.

She asked me to step out of the car and perform a Breathalyzer test. .09. I was in such shock and disbelief. I got knocked for speeding and for driving while intoxicated. I couldn’t help but think of my wife, my kids, my job…everything. What was I going to tell everyone? Will I lose my job? My car? How will my family survive?

These questions and more flooded through my mind. I felt so sick with regret. I made a choice that night and it was the wrong choice. It was a choice I will never make again, and a choice I will make sure nobody close to me ever makes.

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