Sunday, November 25, 2012

DUIs, Military Punishment and Super Weed in Arizona

There are some things in life that I have simply accepted that I'm not supposed to understand.

How the military deals with issues that arise in each squadron is definitely one of them. This is not a political post- it's a military-wife-venting-about-the-stupidity-of-her-husband's-job post. And it's a doozie.

This weekend was supposed to be a 4 day weekend, but there were some idiots in Hubby's squadron to go ahead and take care of that.

Courtesy of AlcockLaw
Some background first: Arizona is a 'Don't Think of Taking a Sip of Beer and Even Sitting in the Driver's Seat' state. They crack down on DUIs worse than a pimp when one of his whores doesn't have his money. Hell, even if you blow a 0 on the breathalyzer, they still give you a DUI (not even joking- more on that later in the story). So, the higher ups on the military base here take DUIs pretty seriously, too. They leave it up to each squadron as to how to handle DUIs that come in, but there's even a DUI board when you first drive on base that points out the number of days since the last DUI and the squadron responsible for the infraction. Hubby's squadron has wrestled with some different ideas on how to deal with this situation... and in my opinion after this weekend, they need to get back to the drawing board.

A few days ago, a guy in the squadron got a DUI. We aren't talking small DUI either, he was thrown in jail. Apparently he really needed a pack of cigarettes after consuming almost an entire bar. Please note that while I don't defend this guy or anyone else who gets a DUI, we are all adults here and need to face a simple reality- unless you have never drank a drop of alcohol, judging dumbasses who get DUIs is just wrong. You damn well know that at some point in your life you've gotten behind the wheel of a car and prayed to get to your destination safely, after having convinced yourself that you just have a small buzz and it won't affect your driving. Even if it was 20 years ago in high school, you've done it. We all have. But when you're in your 30s or 40s and employed by the military where they actually have punishments for this type of thing, think twice. While I don't judge the dumbasses, I will call them dumbasses for being dumbasses. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's not a damn turkey.

So anyway. Guy gets DUI, squadron heads make everyone come in on Saturday morning at 6am for Team Building exercises and PT (physical training). That's the punishment Hubby's squadron went with- you get a DUI, it affects everyone around you. It causes a lot of hostility, let me tell you, but if it works, it can be quite effective (if it works). There were some speeches, the DUI guy had to explain his story and apologize to everyone for causing them to come in on a Saturday, and they all hugged and made up (okay, not really, but y'all get where I'm going with this). 3 hours later, Hubby was home, and we had a birthday party to finish putting together.

Only, the squadron heads didn't make everyone come in that morning. They only made certain sections of the squadron come in. (Squadrons are huge, so they only made this guy's immediate career field and coworkers come in, not the entire squadron.) So, for story's sake, we have Group #1 that came in on Saturday morning, and Group #2 that didn't come in on Saturday morning.

At midnight last night, Hubby gets a text (mind you, not a phone call) that says there's been another DUI in
the squadron, and everyone needs to come in, dressed in blues, at 5am. It was midnight. I immediately asked Hubby then if having everyone come in with only 5 hours notice could cause further DUIs if a guy is minding his own business, getting shitfaced drunk at home with no plans to leave, and now they are making him come in, and Hubby says it's happened before. Wonderful, right? Anyway, another DUI and now the squadron heads are so pissed that they are actually making the entire squadron come in, dressed in blues, to stand in formation and get bitched out by the commander. Completely sucks for guys to come in 2 days of their 4 day weekend because of something someone else did, right? Sure... except that wasn't entirely the case.

DUI #2 was a member of Group #2, who wasn't made to come in on Saturday for the 'DUIs are bad and affect everyone in the squadron' speech. But because the squadron, as a whole, now has 2 DUIs in less than a week, the squadron heads aren't thinking, 'Well, the half of the squadron that didn't come in on Saturday just happens to be the section involved in this second DUI, so let's just make them come in and not the people in the first section', they are pissed as shit and want this crap to stop. I don't blame them, but really? Really?

And to top it off, they sent a text, 5 hours before the event, after midnight. They're really pissed, huh? So pissed that they just couldn't call these people to make sure they came in and nipped this shit in the bud now? Whatever. Only half the damn squadron ended up coming in anyway, because the other half either ignored the text or was, oh I don't know, sleeping! If they were that pissed, then fire should have rained down from above and people would have been threatened with Article 15s for not showing up dressed in their blues.

To make the story even better, when they got there at 5am, they were explained that the guy was caught in some small down going over 80 mph in a 50 mph zone, and when they did his breathalyzer, he blew a 0. Not drunk, no alcohol whatsoever. His eyes were bloodshot, though, and he appeared to be stumbling, so they gave him a DUI, proposing that he was under the influence of weed.

Driving on Weed- Courtesy of CSIndy
Get the fuck out of town. If the guy was high on weed, he'd be driving 30 mph in a 50 mph zone and thinking he was driving 80 mph. No one drives 80 mph on weed, because then they'd think they'd somehow invented hyperdrive on their 2003 Toyota Camry.

So, the DUI probably isn't a DUI after all. The guy was probably falling asleep at the wheel and decided he wanted to get home before he actually fell asleep at the wheel. But Arizona slaps him with a DUI and then either rules it out later or wastes and entire year of this guy's life having the case get tied up in court, where the statute of limitations runs out and the charges are dropped anyway. Yet, without having all of the details, the squadron heads call everyone in... dumbasses.

At this point we have a squadron that's had 2 DUIs in one week from 2 different sections of the squadron, and some of the guys (who didn't even get the DUI) have come in twice during their weekend, some once and some none at all. They are asking for a third DUI, aren't they? Good grief.

What lessons have this entire fiasco taught me (as watching it from an outside perspective)?

  1. The whole 'when you screw up it affects everyone around you' crap doesn't work. Apparently people don't care anymore. They'll do what they want, when they want, and to hell with anyone around them.
  2. In Arizona you can get a DUI based on hypothetical guesses.
  3. Hubby's squadron need to re-think their form of reprimanding people.
  4. Weed in Arizona defies all existing weed laws everywhere and makes you drive 80 mph.

I have no idea how the squadron should handle these situations, but it's clear that their current methods are not affecting anyone in the way they should be. And before I get the trolling comments of 'at least your husband was home for the holidays' and all that jazz, my husband has put in 14 years. He's missed Thanksgivings, and Christmases, and milestones in both of his kids' lives. I am thankful that he has put in his time and service to be able to be at home with us now, so I can bitch about the stupid shit that goes on in his squadron...

... and share with the world how Arizona apparently has super weed. If put into the right hands of some weed smoking nerd, maybe time travel could be invented. Or teleportation, so there's a quicker way to get to your cheesy poofs when the munchies set in.

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  1. I'm not a military wife so I can't pretend to understand your annoyance but I know how boss type people can be weenie butts. My hubby's boss told him to cash out his two week vacation since he wasnt going to use it it so he'd lose it by the years end. Then he told him how selfish it was to take the money. Aaargh. You know what would make you and me feel better? A new tattoo!!!!

    1. I sooooo agree with you. Too bad any money I seem to set aside for myself right now, I end up using to buy the kids more Christmas presents, lol. I need my half sleeve finished... Sigh...

  2. I have half of a horse on my left calf. Really? Like really? And I still want a tiny cactus on my butt... Someday.

  3. I can honestly say I have never gotten behind the wheel of a car when i was even tipsy - ever in my life, even when I was in my early twenties.

    1. That is a feat right there. We Americans are always doing that shit, I think, lol.

    2. This is why I'd make a terrible parent. I never did anything stupid/foolish/dangerous when I was younger.

  4. WOOOOWWWWWW! ...and I thought Georgia was bad. Really bad. I work in the District Attorney's office here in Georgia and I can totally see the wheels spinning in the cops head now.... "Hmmm.... never mind that it is late, he has bloodshot eyes, he HAS to be high on marijuana. Yes. There is no way he could actually be a respectable citizen driving home and actually be tired."

    Gotta love it. I totally agree with you one your Hub's squadron rules though! That shit's gotta change. I envisioned you packing up your shit and walking into the higher up's office while I was reading. It played through and was quite hilarious! Maybe you should try it ;) You have a a pretty intense voice of reasoning.

    1. Awwww, thank you so much for your compliment. I read it last night and told Hubby, 'HA! Someone views me as a pretty intense voice of reasonining. I like that.' He laughed, lol. =)