‘But I’m not drunk,’ says first DUI collision suspect of new year


The clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve and it didn’t take long before we had our first DUI collision of 2016.

Luckily, the first victim was only a tree and not some unlucky person who was minding their own business on their way home.

After the DUI investigation was completed, the driver was handcuffed and told he was under arrest. I was standing there when he said, “But I’m not drunk.”

I pointed to the tree the guy crashed into and joked to another officer, “Doesn’t he realize he failed the driving test?”

The driver was given the option of a blood or breath test. After he decided on the blood test I started to walk away. That’s when he said, “I’m not drunk” again.

His car was stuck on the median and up against a tree with a flat tire and a damaged rim. Its front bumper and grille were also damaged. After looking at the car and hearing him over and over,  I wondered if he realized how silly he sounded.

You just can’t go around hitting things – especially after drinking four or five beers on New Year’s Eve. Maybe it’s time he drank from the Cup of Responsibility instead. It wasn’t the like the tree jumped out in front of him.

Have a safe 2016.

Editor’s Note: John Roman is a traffic officer for an Orange County police agency who writes a blog, Badge 415 (www.badge415.wordpress.com). His posts focus on the human side of police work and safety tips. Roman, a cop for more thsn 20 years, has handled more than 5,000 accidents as a collision investigator. BehindTheBadgeOC.com shares some of his columns.