With the approach of the festive season, roadblocks checking for drunken drivers and any other criminal activities are on the increase again.
My father and my sister’s husband both celebrated their birthday on Thursday and as per usual, I took them out for a birthday meal last night. It was a wonderfully relaxed evening. It is not my habit to drink more than a glass of wine when I have to drive home but the white wine flowed quite lavishly and we topped it off with a bottle of champagne before leaving.
The steakhouse is somewhere midway between my father’s and my sister’s place so while driving my dad home, we were stopped in a roadblock. Mercifully, the traffic officer started off with the only question I had a feasible answer for.Where are you coming from
, he asked.
I gestured with my head to my passengers and told him that the two gentlemen celebrated a common birthday and, as they knew that they would not be in a condition to drive back home, they asked me to fetch them afterwards.
The officer asked me if I drank anything and I said Not a drop
which was the truth. It was probably almost a bottle. The man was very impressed and actually commended all of us for being so law-abiding. He wished us a safe journey and off we went.
Coming back we were waved off again but when we were recognized, the officer indicated that we could proceed.
It was a lucky escape but it could have ended in a disaster. I could have spent the weekend in the holding cells, as I would only have appeared in court on Monday or Tuesday for a bail hearing. And that would only have been the beginning of the problems.
So to all you fellow South Africans – and everybody elsewhere – don’t be foolish as I was. If you must drink, don’t drive. Get somebody to drive you home. It is season for roadblocks. And that half a second delay in our reflexes can easily cost a life.
Have a great weekend and don’t go drinking and driving.