You may have seen this email circulating in the past few weeks. It's one of those scary stories that could happen to any one of us moms. Have a read and next time you're out and about having a spot of fun, think again before you drink and drive, even if you are just a weee bit over the limit. You really wouldn't want to go through what this mom did. Taxis offer a great (and surprisingly affordable) alternative, even if you have to come back the next day to fetch your car.
Dear Family and Friends
On Friday 11 March 2011 at 10pm I was pulled over in a roadblock and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. I had met my friend Jenny at a nearby restuarant to have a very civilised dinner and a catch up. I had three drinks and two glasses of water, something I know every single one of us has done on many occasions. I knew full well at the time that I shouldn't have had the third but I did. We left just before 10am because I needed to get a decent nights sleep for Andrew's birthday party on Saturday morning. I felt 100% percent when I was pulled over and told that every person stopped would do a breathiliser test. The police woman said she really wasn't concerned about me but now that I had been stopped we would have to go through the procedures. I did the breathiliser and was just over the legal limit of 0.24. I was put in a police Quantum and with 8 paraletic men and taken to Honeydew Police Station. I phoned Bradley immediately who threw the kids in the car and arrived just in time for the kids to see me being taken out of a police vehicle.
I honestly thought that Brad would speak to the nice police officers and the nice affluent lady from Ruimsig would be sent home. 18 hours of pure unadulterated hell ensued. I was put in a room with drunk, foul mouthed men and the start of the paper work began. I was then taken in the Quantum again with these men to the Randburg Clinic to have blood tests. I was convinced we would be killed from speed and wreckless driving. I am grateful to the policewoman who stayed with me and kept the men away from me. The person who took my blood was practically illiterate and when I asked him to put gloves on he said he wasn't afraid of my blood. I told him "buddy I'm scared of yours". It was all done properly, I took photos of the blood kit and documents which the cops found very interesting as everyone else was sprawled out of the floor not knowing the day of the week. Bradley had taken the kids to my mom at this stage and was outside with my friend I had dinner with and her husband who is a lawyer. We were then taken back to Honeydew where we were told it would be a few minutes and we could pay our bail and go home. It's now midnight.
Apparently to post bail you need a detective and there were no detectives and only one small cell which couldn't accommodate the "detainees". I was finally separated from the men and put in an office with 8 policemen sorting out crates of booze from a shebeen. They had great fun making jokes with the "lovely white lady". At 4am three more women were brought in, 2 motherless. Just for the record, of the 23 arrested, I had the lowest count. The cops also found this amusing as I should "never have been detained". At 4am Honeydew police station decided they couldn't find a detective and just couldn't process us. We (4 ladies) had to hand over everything, including cell phones and even our belts and shoelaces and were told we would be taken somewhere much more comfortable for us. Somewhere where we would be with criminals like ourselves. We were frog marched to a proper police van and thrown in the back. Stinking filth would be a mild description. The cops told us they were taking us to the veld for some fun which white ladies enjoy. There are no words to describe the fear and degredation. We were taken, sirens screaming and ramping pavements to "shake us up" to Randburg Prison. We were reprocessed and told once again that as criminals we had no rights.
Us 4 ladies were put in a cell in the prison with 6 other women. Prostitutes, drug addicts, a shebeen owner etc etc. We were treated shockingly but I am grateful to God I was not harmed in any way. I have learnt a lot about myself and how truly strong a person I am. I was more than ready to take on a stoned drug addict who didn't like my face. There are no words to describe the hell I have seen and experienced. The prison movies I have seen are mild. There literally is writing on the walls in blood and no where to sit or lie but on an ice cold concrete floor. No food and no water. The fear and conditions mess with your head so badly, I desperately wanted them to call me and get me out but at the same time I was so terrified of being alone with a policeman I would rather have stayed in the cell. All this time Brad was outside with Gavin and other family members gathering. Gavin woke up people, there was even a Judge on the phone. They could do nothing!! I was finally granted bail and released after 2pm.
Andrew's birthday party was cancelled, I have had to explain this situation to my children and see the terror my mothers face. I put Bradley through unspeakable anguish. I can't even scratch the surface of how this has affected my family.
The reason I am telling you all of this and not keeping it to myself is because it's not in my nature to ever shut up as you well know, and it would just eat away at me carrying a secret like this. I take full responsibility that I broke the law and will face the consequences. I will not dodge prosecution or "make evidence disappear". It's unfortunate that I am the one who has had to learn this lesson while almost every person I know does the same thing regularly. I believe that this has happened for a reason and possibly that reason is for my friends and family to catch a wake up and realise that this can happen to anyone. I don't know how strongly I need to say this, I need you guys to listen to what I have to say and take it very seriously. I never want anyone I care about to have to go through what I did. I am getting trauma counselling and am a complete mess. Please trust me it is worse than any movie and any nightmare. I am not being dramatic in any way that when I say if I could video what I saw and experienced, no one of you would ever touch a drop again. The big hero men who thought it was all so amusing initially, left the prison broken. Me as a female was exposed to unspeakable things. I have witnessed people taking drugs next to me and going completely mental, I have used a steel filth encrusted toilet infront of a room full of people, I have been told my Nigerians and Zimbabweans that their only wish is to "f^%$ me until I die" and i have laid on a filthy concrete floor completely helpless. And thats the mild stuff.
I want every single person to think about this and stop what you are doing. Do not ever get behind a wheel after so much as one drink, its not worth it. Male, female, young, old, black, white, affluent or not. No one is excluded from this stuffed up system that is policing our country. It doesn't matter how little or how much over the legal limit you are, you are a criminal in their eyes and will be treated as such. Ladies, your civilised dinner parties, bookclubs and playdates in the afternoons with your children could honestly land you experiencing what I did. Guys a beer or two after work, same story. I will be going to court and I will have a criminal record.
I am not saying don't drink, I am asking you all to drink in the safety of your homes and to never ever under any circumstance get behind a wheel after drinking anything. It's just not worth it. You don't know your limit, everyone is a different weight, size and everyone reacts differently. Just don't take the chance, ever.
I apologise for this letter sounding like the ramblings of a mad woman but I felt I needed to tell everyone while it was still fresh. I havent told a tenth of what happened. I am not ashamed by what happened and I cannot let my experience go without doing something constructive to prevent others from having to go through the same thing. I won't punish myself for the rest of my life and I will still have a drink or two but I swear I will never again get behind a wheel after so much as one sip of alcohol. I have a long road ahead of me to sort my head out and many months of court cases and trauma ahead, make sure this doesn't happen to you.
** We received this story as a circular email. After attempting to trace the writer to verify it's authenticity, we decided to share it with you anyway as the holidays were fast approaching and we felt it's message was urgent and relevant.