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portable breathalyzer
smoking pot
freshman year
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The First Time I Used A Portable Breathalyzer
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The First Time I Used A Portable Breathalyzer

A portable breathalyzer probably wouldn't change happens in this story, but it's entertaining none the less. In 1995 after graduating from high school, I was attending the University of Colorado at Boulder. A beautiful school with a serious drinking problem (I'll get into that with subsequent articles). During spring break in my freshman year, my parents went on a vacation and left the house to my me to stay in while they soaked up the sun in Florida.

Immediately I decided a party for my friends was in order. To set the stage, you have to realize my parent's home is in the middle of nowhere, Colorado. Franktown to be exact. Know where that is? No, I didn't think so. It's also on acreage. To me, it was the perfect place to host a party for 20 people.

The beer was purchased, the liquor was on hand. We trucked our stereo equipment and cd collections down I-25 and set up for the perfect party. There was one problem - my sister (18 years old) decided she and her friends would like to partake. Being the protective and safe older brother, I told her sure, as long as none of your friends leave. They all had to spend the night (hadn't even heard of a portable breathalyzer at this point in my life.)

My sister agreed and invited her 4 friends over and sometime after dusk, the cars started arriving. The party was everything we expected. We had a hot tub on the back patio, we had a huge selection of music, we had drinks pouring like crazy. No one was 21 and no one cared - we were living it up and having the time of our lives. We had not a care in the world because we were at my house, out in the country and no one wanted to leave. Paradise.

Then disaster struck.

Near midnight my sister's friend, Dave, left the party. Unbeknownst to me, he was in the barn smoking pot the entire night, not drinking. Several miles away, he was pulled over and the officer asked what he had been doing. The young man informed the officer he left a "pot party" at my house.

Let me be crystal clear - we were NOT smoking pot - we were drinking as safely as we could.

The officer took this as a sign to bust up what seemed liked a huge party and at approximately 1:00 am, while sitting in my hot tub, I saw a flashlight cross over my back yard, followed by a large man in a blue uniform ordering me and my two other friends out of the hot tub.

I walk inside my house and find every guest in the kitchen with three officers. The officers were asking where the marijuana was to which everyone replied there was none. It was the truth. They officers were embarrassed and decided instead of leaving, to give everyone an alcohol test using their portable breathalyzer units they keep in their vehicles.

Everyone (except my sister ironically) received a ticket that night, except for my good friend who hid under the deck. I was livid and the officers made me gather up all the alcohol in the house. They asked me to go downstairs and get the bottles and the coolers of beer. I agreed happily, went downstairs and threw all the liquor into the bushes in the back yard. After the police left, the party raged on until all hours of the morning (for a full 3 days too!)

After a week had passed, we went to court, paid fines and went about our lives. In this case, a portable breathalyzer wouldn't have changed a thing - but here's what it does do. It makes you think that life is short and one bad decision can have a huge effect on your life.

Be safe and think before you drink.


Street Talk

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