DISCLAIMER: This is a fictional story partially based on past clients’ experiences going through a DWI case in Harris County, Texas.
I ended up getting released on bond for a DWI after spending close to 24 hours in jail. What a waste of money on such a stupid mistake. I’ll be honest with you though, while I was stuck in that jail cell, I would’ve paid any amount to get out right then and there.
I was standing outside the jail with a dead cell phone, no license (at least that’s what I thought), with my car impounded. My job was somewhat close by, but I looked like hell and probably didn’t smell very good either. It would have been obvious to co-workers that something wasn’t right, especially since I hadn’t shown up the day before. That created another problem. I had to have my wife call in and make up some excuse about being really sick. This had to have made my boss wonder just how sick I had to be to not be able to call in myself.
My wife was also not happy about having to lie for me.Somehow, those were the least of my worries. My biggest concern was getting my car out of impound. These guys, were charging me $220 to get my car out, and if I couldn’t do it within 24 hours, it would increase another $20. To be clear, every 24 hours the bill goes up by $20. I felt a sense of gratitude that at least I had the money today, and a friend who could get me to the lot within 24 hours. I couldn’t help but wonder, “What if I didn’t have $220?” The State of Texas was not messing around, and they were not going to make any of this easy.
I found myself in front of McDonald’s and prayed that none of my co-workers were getting an early breakfast. That sausage, egg and cheese McMuffin was like a gourmet meal compared to the slimy bologna I had to eat in jail. Next, I found an ATM, painfully withdrew $220 and took a bus home.
A hot shower was next on the list. Luckily, my wife was at work. I didn’t feel like dealing with the looks of disappointment right away. Best she has some time to know that I’m out of jail, and at home, and cool off a little bit. I charged my phone, and sent her a text that I was home.
Next, I called a friend, explained the situation, and asked for a ride to the impound lot. Just to be safe, I decided to call the impound to check on hours and any other details that would keep me from getting my vehicle out. I heard they’re notorious for doing whatever they can to make it difficult. I asked what I needed to bring, and the first thing they said was ID or drivers license. That was a problem, my license had been taken by the arresting officer. “Not our problem,” the voice on the other line said. I hurriedly called my friend back and told him I needed a ride to the DPS first.
Fortunately, it was a quick and easy process to get another license. No, I’m not making a sarcastic DMV joke. It really was. And as far as why or how I was able to get another copy of my license if it’s supposed to be suspended? I still don’t know, but I’m taking it for now.
I made it to the impound, painfully handed over $220 and drove my car off the lot. Next twist in the story – I’m not supposed to be driving yet. Not without installing a device on my car that I have to breathe into before the car will start. That folks, amongst other adventures, is for the next article. Stay tuned.