By Cassidy Ritter
“How It Feels” is Style on the Hill’s newest series of first person stories from students at KU who have had incredible experiences. Check back each Friday over the next few weeks for new installments.
Two years ago, KU student Jayce Donnelly was arrested for a DUI. This is what it feels like.
As soon as I woke up from a blacked-out state, bright lights were all I saw. The empty road ahead was blurry, but the lights behind me were clear. I instantly knew I was going to jail.
It was Sunday, Oct. 13 at 1:15 a.m. I don’t remember leaving the party. Nor do I remember driving my car five miles down the road. I shouldn’t have been driving. I knew I was fucked up.
As I headed east onto 23rd Street, the bright red and blue lights followed. As I pulled into the Hobby Lobby parking lot, I could taste the bitter tequila on my lips. We had been drinking since 11 a.m. the previous morning because it was the last day of Fall Break. I reached diagonally for mints in the glove compartment. As I put the mints in my mouth, a spotlight blinded me.
Two cops appeared at my door. A white heavy man in his mid-50’s pounded on my window.
“Have you been drinking tonight?” he asked.
I looked at the blurry officer that stood before me and said, “I’m really fucked up.” There was no way to hide my drunken state or tequila breath.
I stepped out of the car accepting the fact that I was going to jail with a DUI. I stood against my cold car as the officers went through my wallet. Then proceeded with the sobriety test. I blew a .222; the legal rate is .08. The officer told me to walk in a straight line down and back. This was cake. I’m in the military and practically do this in my sleep. So with all the focus I had left I marched. When I got to the end I tried a left facing turn and fell over in the process. Deep breath. I knew I’d be okay. When I marched back, the officer said, “Yeah, you’re done. We don’t need to see you walk anymore.”
The officers put handcuffs on my wrists in front of my body as a “reward” for cooperating and drove me to jail. After about two hours of paper work and waiting, I paid $535 for bail and was released to my friend.
Two years later, I’ve paid over $6,000 in fines and fees, had a Breathalyzer in my car and was on probation with the military for six months.
I still like to party, but took a break from going out for a few months and no longer hang out with the people I drank with that night.
Graphic by Allison Ellis