After the hour long orientation Wednesday morning, I was called in the second pool for a criminal trial. It involved DUII – driving under the influence of intoxicants…..in other words, drugs were involved. While we didn’t hear a lot about this case, it was alcohol and pot. Given the questions being asked, I conjectured it was a guy with a medical marijuana card who drank and got pulled over. After answering the basic questions at the start of selection (name, education, profession, area of residency in the city, friends & family in law enforcement, victim of crime, can you drive, ever been part of a court case), they asked follow up questions about DUI laws in the state. Do you have experience with DUI? What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear DUI?
To be honest, the first thing that came to mind was a friend of mine from high school who lost both of her parents after a drunk driver caused an accident killing them both. She has a 2 year old, she’s the oldest, and she lost her parents in the blink of an eye. Given the recent holidays where she and her sister talked a lot about them, I think of her pain. Her family was incredibly close-knit. The second thing that came to mind was an ex-boyfriend who is now a canine cop who is continually reminding people on Facebook that they will get picked up and prosecuted if they are drinking and driving. He talks about his commitment to making sure that the roads are safe. Then I thought of my dad coming across an accident when I was very young – a multicar accident in rural Iowa – he tried to save a woman who was badly injured. She died while her kids were in the back of the car crying. My dad tried to comfort them as their mom died and rescuers worked to free them from the wreckage. Or my friend whose dad drove drunk with them in the car all the time. (He is an alcoholic.) When she was DJ’s age, her dad was arrested for DUI. She and her sisters were also taken into custody and waited for their mom to come and get them at the police station.
I don’t even take the risk driving after drinking. Why? A car is an awfully big weapon in the hands of impaired. Example after example has been given to me over the years. Not just stories, but people who have been affected in various ways.
So, when asked how I feel about it, I told them. While I think the laws are fair, I hold myself to higher standards based on my experience with family and friends. This comment led the defense to ask a whole series of questions where everyone was asked if they felt like I did. About 6 people out of the 30 raised their hands. Each was questioned – several admitted they would not drive even if they had a beer and food and two hours. Some had similar stories. The people that were chosen had all admitted to the fact had driven drunk themselves. That – and they smoked pot themselves. Not surprising that I was dismissed. I knew I would. Each time the defense attorney asked a question – I was her example. Oh, well.
I got chosen for the jury on a fun case…..more on that AFTER we decide the verdict. Keep your fingers crossed that it is done early Friday. It was a long first day.
We are going out of town this weekend. We’re going to the beach with our friends. This means no Internet all weekend…. all 3-day weekend. I don’t know what I will do. Might go through withdrawals. Oh, yeah….and cell coverage is pretty nil too. I’ll be twitching by the end of the weekend. I will be taking pictures all weekend, but won’t post them for the 365Project until I get back. Assuming I don’t sneak away and find a coffee shop with wireless which is always a possibility.
Have a great weekend everyone!