Was I a criminal? A dope dealer, perpetrate crime on the public, violent….No. I still ended up in the Texas Penitentiary.
When I grew up in Texas there was something called the “Open Container” law. What it stated was, that if you weren’t driving erratically, swerving or recklessly, it was perfectly legal to drink and drive. I’d lived other places like Santa Barbara in the late ’60s until about 1976. Then I came home and worked out in the Gulf of Mexico, on oil service boats for a couple years. I finally moved home, to the city at the end of ’79. Guess what happened next.
Soon after I got off the ocean and moved home, the laws changed. They got real serious about drinking and driving. I thought that was very unfair, punishing everyone for a few. I can say now, that was just a cover for a problem I had, that was about to get much worse.
Then in 1983, I got arrested three times in 2 months. Talk about doing things the hard way. In Texas it takes 3 of these offenses to make a felony, but because when I went to court a few months later for all three at the same time, they couldn’t charge me with a felony. Mind you, I had a couple fender benders in my first couple years of driving (and one wasn’t my fault) but no others, even to this date….and that had something to do with why I didn’t take it too seriously. That turned out to be a major mistake on my part. I got probation easily, but with major stipulations.
more to follow….