We’ve all seen the signs along roadways and freeways to call 9-1-1 and report drunk drivers. Like myself perhaps you’ve thought, yeah right, that would never work. Well, here is my story…
Honey and I were driving back from Fresno last night about 10:45 pm. We were between Traver and Goshen on the 99. Traffic had slowed, of course I was irritated, but we finally saw why. There was a dark vehicle that was driving slowly. I was annoyed because I couldn’t pass him because of other cars and semi trucks. I then hear honey say, “OMG, he almost just ran someone off of the road”. We watched for about another minute, seeing him continually veer into the other lane. I told her to call 9-1-1, he was clearly drunk. We hesitated calling because at that point, we couldn’t tell anything about the vehicle, not even what it was. But they kept swerving, so I made the call. The dispatcher answered, asked what was going on, and then transferred me to the Highway Patrol office. I told that dispatcher what was going on. At that point I was able to change lanes and see that it was a black truck and honey could see the license plate number. The dispatcher got my info and we ended our call.
As I’m traveling down the freeway, I’m thinking yeah right, like they are really going to catch this guy. Are highway patrol officers like ninjas hiding in the darkness ready to pounce? We are now in Goshen taking the 198 exit to come home. The truck just so happens to be doing the same. We are now directly behind the alleged trashed individual. He now is only going about 52 MPH, uh, it’s 65 dude. My phone rings and it’s the HP. They asked for my location and to stay on the line. Just as we are passing the Holiday Inn, I look in my rear view mirror and oh, hello officer. I change lanes and told the dispatcher that the officer is now directly behind the truck. The dispatcher tells the officer, “they have a visual; you are directly behind the suspect”. The patrol lights immediately go on and the truck pulls over. At first the truck attempted to pull off to the left of the highway. In case you don’t know….there is no left. He then proceeds to go to the right and successfully pulls over. But he couldn’t even park properly, he was completely crooked.
As we continued heading home, the lights in our mirrors, we couldn’t help but feel totally awesome!! It was such a great feeling knowing we could have saved a life tonight, even that drivers own life. That we were a part of what just happened. The moral of this story is, call 9-1-1, it really does work and fast!! From the call to the officer, it was under 5 minutes (maybe they are ninjas!). So, thanks Highway Patrol for your awesome response in keeping the roads that my friends and loved ones travel, safe.
On the flip side, please don’t be the one that people call on. When you drink and drive, you aren’t the only one you are putting in danger. Be smart, get a designated driver and stay safe!