Monday, February 16, 2015

Can't Fix Stupid

"If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."

This useful aphorism is attributed to Will Rogers, the cowboy philosopher of the last century. It gets quoted with some regularity.  

Three New Jersey men apparently had not heard the expression or, if they had, did not take it to heart.

This got them in trouble last week.

1)  Making traffic tickets worse.

There was a man who had several traffic tickets and did not want to deal with them.

He hit on what he must have believed was a clever scheme: He said the violations had been committed by his twin brother.  Then he claimed that he himself was blind and therefore could not drive -- his twin must be the one at fault.

Unfortunately, he does not have a twin brother.  And he is not blind.

The man used these stories, several times, to postpone court dates on the traffic tickets.

Police got tired of the nonsense.  They found his driver's license information and his fingerprints and matched them.  They established that he did not, in fact, have a twin brother.

Now, in addition to traffic citations, the man faces criminal charges:  hindering apprehension, false swearing and resisting arrest.  The consequences will include not just unpaid and overdue fines, but probably some time in jail.

This man is 58 years old.  Old enough, one would think, to know better.

2)  Getting DUIs that could have been avoided.

Unlike the previous story, this one involves two young clowns.

The first guy was driving home one night, drunk.  He ran through a stop sign and plowed his car into a guard rail.  Nobody saw him, and he was not ticketed.  All he had to do was go home, sober up and take his car to a body shop the next morning.

But no.

The guy called a friend, and they hatched what they must have thought was a smart plan:  to create a sheet of black ice on the roadway where the first guy's car had hit the guardrail.  (It was cold, below 0 degrees with wind chill, at this point.)  They reasoned that this would give the first guy an excuse for his accident, assuming the police ever chose to examine what caused the dent in the guard rail, very unlikely in any event.

The young men filled two five-gallon cans with water, put them in the friend's car, drove to the still-unnoticed accident scene and dumped the water on the street.  Apparently they did this several times.

At about 2:45 a.m., a patrol officer drove up.  He noticed the first guy crossing the intersection after throwing water on the street.  The cop stopped and went to talk to the second guy, who was sitting in the driver's seat of his idling car, shirtless (!), with the other can of water, partly full, inside.  He claimed he hadn't been driving.

The policeman deduced, probably from skid marks, what had happened in the earlier situation.  He also ascertained, not surprisingly, that both men were drunk.

The first young man now faces prosecution for driving while intoxicated, failure to stop at a stop sign, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident and creating a dangerous condition by purposely icing the intersection.

The second guy has been charged with driving while intoxicated.

The two of them presumably will be made to pay for the cost of spreading a half ton of salt on the then-slick roadway to make it safe.

It is unlikely that either of these young men would be facing charges of any kind if they hadn't cooked up their idiot plan.

Sadly, alcohol and good sense, like alcohol and driving, do not go together.

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