Why do I feel like a criminal?

Back in January, I called 911 when I saw what appeared to be someone driving under the influence early Saturday morning. After the police showed up, it was confirmed that all the people in the car had been drinking. However, at the time, none of them were in the car.

Yesterday, I was called as a witness to the crime. Pretty simple, you’d think. They ask me what I saw, I confirm I saw the car driving.

On that morning, I didn’t take note of the person behind the wheel of the car. I can supply one fact: the car had been driven by someone in that group shortly after 7AM.

After the officer arrived and investigated, I was told the owner (or person the car is registered under) confirmed that nobody else had driven his car. That person was under the influence that morning; therefore, that person was driving under the influence that morning. I signed a statement provided by the police that I witnessed that person driving that car that morning.

To me, the important fact was that I saw the car driving. This is the information the police did not have.

Now, during my testimony yesterday, for whatever reason, the questioning focuses on whether I could identify the person driving the vehicle. No, I can’t. I never took note of anything going on inside the vehicle.

Now I get questions like, "Did you read the statement you signed?" and "Was the statement presented as a prepared document that you just signed?"

Of course, this guy that put the lives of so many in danger that morning is trying to wriggle out of this on the technicality that nobody actually witnessed him behind the wheel.

I’m not sure I can blame the lawyer, she is doing her job. But I can blame the asshole that isn’t man enough to take responsibility for his stupidity.

I probably would have viewed the entire incident differently if a different drunk driver didn’t kill my friend shortly after 7AM on a Saturday morning just six months earlier.

2 thoughts on “Why do I feel like a criminal?

  1. Candy

    You totally did the right thing and I can’t even begin to point out the asshole things people do. I probably put most blame on their parents – parents need to do a better job teaching their kids how to man up and take responsibilities.

    Of course the lawyer is going to argue on technicality – that you actually didn’t see who was driving. But if you look at the facts: You can identify the car -> the car was moving -> police confirmed that everyone in the car was drunk -> someone in that group had to have been the driver -> therefore the driver was drunk.

    Unfortunately since the law is probably going to err on the “safe” side, it’s not going to go anywhere …

  2. benburleson Post author

    Thanks Candy.

    Unfortunately, the court never seems to follow the logic we do. I agree, it probably won’t go anywhere, but hopefully it has been a big enough annoyance in his life to think twice about being such a blantant asshole.

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