You wake up cold on a mattress that you recognize from custody. Your belt and shoestrings are missing. You see blueish fluorescent lighting glowing in the small room, and the door is locked. Your head is pounding. Your next thoughts are, “Where am I, and what happened?” You now know that you are in jail, but where? What city are you in?
You work up the courage to knock on the door to get the staff’s attention. The jailer opens the door, and you ask, “Where am I? What happened?” The jailer says you are in jail for driving under the influence (DUI) and that you are lucky that no one was hurt! The jailer asks, “Why did you drink so much?” You hang your head and are unable to answer the question.
After your arrest, you must call your captain while flooded with feelings of shame and embarrassment. This is the hardest call of your life, as it triggers the process of being picked up at the station, taken home and then having Operations staff come to your home the following day to collect your gun and badge — something you worked so hard for — and relieving you of duty until further notice. In addition to the legal aspects of this, you will also now be faced with an internal investigation to determine your future with the Department.
Despite knowing a DUI charge comes with harsh consequences, most people fail to appreciate the emotional toll it can take. DUI arrests are traumatic to your personal, financial and work life. Further, when you work in law enforcement, the stress of an arrest increases tenfold! You might feel like it is all a bad dream. The shock of the situation sometimes makes you want to deny that this is even happening. But it is happening — you have been arrested due to your drinking!