If you drink, you don't drive; there is no in between

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Joshua Green
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs photographer
I was playing video games like any other Saturday evening when an off-base friend called.

Even though I was reluctant, he convinced me to go out to a bar because it was a mutual friend's going away event. I did not want to be rude to our mutual friend since it was his last night before deploying.

We decided to meet at the house of my friend's girlfriend and from there we would head to the bar. When I arrived at his girlfriend's house, they had already started drinking alcohol. When everyone was prepared to leave, we established who the designated driver was going to be--a positive move to start out the night right.

We arrived at the bar "fashionably late" and headed inside to have some fun.

The time was around 11:30 p.m. when we started drinking.

The time was 12:30 a.m. and to my recollection, I've consumed two beers and one shot, but I'm certain I had no more than four drinks.

Toward the end of the night, I met someone while dancing, and we talked about going to a late-night restaurant after the club.

The time was 3:45 a.m. when I asked our designated driver for a ride to the restaurant, but he told me no.

One of my mistakes that night was leaving behind my friends and riding with random people I met while intoxicated.

After leaving the restaurant, they took me back to the house and that's when I made the biggest mistake of the night.

I decided to get into my vehicle and drive. Never at any point did I feel I was unable to operate my vehicle. I figured after only drinking supposedly three drinks, and all the time that had passed, I was okay to drive. When I was six houses away from my destination, I was stopped by a state trooper.
He stopped me for speeding and asked if I was drinking. I told the truth and let him know that I was about a few houses away from my destination, but he had to do his job and administer a breathalyzer test.

I blew a .09 and spent three days in jail.

I received a letter of reprimand, an unfavorable information file, lost driving privileges on-base for a year, and most importantly, lost the respect of all the individuals who know me. In addition to the military consequences, I also received punishment from the state.

I was known as a base photographer, but now I'm number 35 for 2009.

Driving after drinking alcohol is not an option even if you have one drink. Don't think about doing it.

If you drink, you don't drive; there is no in between.