I have written about many different things which have been very personal, but have never spoken much about the sentence that was handed to me seven long years ago. There were fines (hefty fines), my Expedition was taken, court ordered treatments and a pretty long period of house arrest. All of these things were pretty hard but they were all well-deserved for the mistakes I had made. But, out of all of these things, years later, the one thing that has affected me the most has been the lifetime revocation of my driver’s license. Which I am able to re-apply for after 10 years (whatever that means).
I have ridden my bike to and from work year round while trying to complain as little as possible. I have had to ask for hundreds of rides from family and friends knowing full well I will never be able to re-pay the debt to them, no matter how many rides I could possibly offer them in the future. All of this is pretty normal for me now, I am the butt of jokes for many people, including myself because in all honesty it is a little funny that I ride my bike in the middle of winter (those who do it for pleasure are completely insane). What isn’t funny to me is how someone like myself who does everything they are supposed to just like the system asks, gets slapped in the face when requesting a limited license with the new bill that was passed.
Now I am no lawyer or judge and I really have no idea how to read these sorts of things but what I read in the bill is this –
In order to obtain a license under AS 28.15.181(c), or the department when revoking a driver's license, privilege to drive, or privilege to obtain a license under AS 28.15.165(c), may grant limited license privileges if -
(1) the revocation was for a felony conviction under AS 28.35.030;
(2) the person has successfully participated for at least six months in or has successfully completed, a court-ordered treatment program under AS 28.35.028.
Now my tiny brain does not comprehend the rest of the lingo in this entire bill but these are the things that stood out to me. Obviously this pumped me up and was like “shit, I may be able to drive my kids before they have to drive me.” So I did what any normal person would do and I had my mother get me the proper paperwork and I turned it into the court and to the district attorney. Much to my surprise I got a letter back, I shit you not TWO days later (This is light speed for our court system). I hurry up and open it hoping it was good news. Nope, REQUEST DENIED. Why you ask? Well the judge wrote that I am not able to get a limited license because I did not take part in Therapeutic Court. If you don’t know, this is something that people with DUI’s do to reduce or take place of jail time. It is an 18 month program. Anyways, so that is why I was denied. What I don’t get is that I cannot find anywhere in the bill that even says the words Therapeutic Court. So now I’m confused and a little pissed off.
I didn’t take part in this program, not because I chose not to but because I was never even offered it. Again, my last DUI was seven years ago so I am sure things have changed, but to not be offered into a program that is now the soul reason I cannot get a limited license is mind boggling. If someone were to get felony DUI today it would be a no brainer to apply to get into this program so they could then get a limited license after 18 months rather than wait 10 years. Do you see where I am coming from here?
On top of this, the response from the District Attorney was even more confusing. They stated that I was denied because I did not have insurance or ignition interlock. What the fuck? Why the hell would I have those things before I was granted a license. I know those are things I would need before the DMV would give me a license but that has nothing to do with the court system. Both of the responses I received from the Judge and District Attorney just make me wonder what is happening when they receive these requests. Do they just glance at it and write what they think they should or do they research what the actual law is?
I could very well be completely wrong here and that is fine, I have gone this long without driving, but the reason I was denied just does not make any sense. I have been through the ringer with the system and I think I have done pretty damn good when it comes to becoming a decent member of society. I have made the next step in writing letters to the Senators who approved this bill in hopes of getting a better understanding of what is going on here. Hopefully even if I am wrong here, they will give me a better explanation than the other ones I received.
I am just venting here because I am frustrated. I want to drive, I want to be able to take my kids to school someday. Yeah I fucked up and I owned up to my problems and did what I had to do to get sober and to be a good man. I am not a threat to society. Just let me drive.
Feel free to share. Maybe by dumb luck it will cross paths with someone who could give me good news.