2010
06.28

Free Personal Breathalyzer

I received an email from Buy.com advertising a personal breathalyzer device for $40. I’ve often wondered what BAC my breath would register after drinking various quantities of alcohol, so I seriously considered buying the device. Little did I know, in just a few hours, I would discover a way to get a breathalyzer reading absolutely FREE!

Our friends’ band, The Hook, was playing a free concert at Depot Park in Clarkston. Melissa and I got out there exactly at the scheduled showtime of 6pm. They rocked our faces and then we walked over to an after-party at Greg Martin’s apartment on Main Street. Between the hours of 7:30pm and 12:00am, I opened four bottles of domestic light beer and drank most of them. I also ate two slices of pizza and immeasurable quantities of chips, salsa, and other dips. We left Greg’s at midnight.

Melissa and I walked about a block back to the Depot Park parking lot. I pulled out heading east toward Main and made a right. Oops! I meant to go north toward I-75. One car passed and I made a slow U-turn. As I completed the maneuver, I spied a Clarkston police car on the right, almost directly across from Depot Road. Sure enough, the officer pulled in behind me and fired up his lights.

Officer: I stopped you because you came up the wrong way on a one way street back there and then made an illegal U-turn, so… Merry Christmas!
Me: Oh, man! Okay. I’ve never been to that park before. I’m sorry.
Officer: How much have you had to drink tonight, ’cause it smells like a lot!
Me: Not THAT much. I started drinking at 7:30, and I had, like, three… plus… beers?
Officer: Okay, well, why don’t we start with your license and registration? [after I comply] Alright, Rodney, why don’t you come on out and follow me back here. [after I unbuckle my seat belt and open my door] Have you ever had a PBT before?
Me: Mmmmm… nope.
Officer: [says something about the breathalyzer, then asked me where Eastpointe is, what I’m doing out there — assessing my faculties, I presume] Okay, go ahead and blow in here.
Me: ..oO( Should I blow hard from the gut, or shallow from my mouth? )

I didn’t feel buzzed, yet I couldn’t help but be nervous. The device emits a low-volume whistling noise. I couldn’t see the digital readout

Officer: Why don’t you go ahead and try that again.

The device whistles again. Following the exhalation, this time I see the readout:  .0012.  *Whew!*

Officer Awesome then sent me on my way without a single citation, asking that I pay better attention to the signage.

Pressing my luck, I asked about why my u-turn was illegal. “They’re not always illegal, just here in the Village on Main Street,” he said, pointing across my vehicle. I looked in the direction he was pointing and, sure enough, there was a very helpful “No U-turns” sign just 20 feet ahead. Can you believe I still didn’t get a citation, not even for stupidity??

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