Tuesday, March 18, 2008

News of the Weird 13 (Unlucky? You decide.)

While driving home from a night out at a bar in January, 51-year-old Pat Dykstra of Fox Lake, Wisconsin, was persuaded by her boyfriend that she might be too drunk to drive (by his own admission he was in no condition to take over), so she did what she apparently thought was the sensible thing; without leaving the road, she called 911 and explained the situation, providing her name, a description of the vehicle, their location, and the time they'd likely make it home. Sheriff's deputies arrived at the house not long after the couple did and gave Dykstra a breath test; sure enough, she was well over the legal limit and soon faced a $740 fine and the possible loss of her license.*

This story leaves me just a bit conflicted. On the one hand, I hate drunken driving with a passion. On the other, I like honesty. So, let me weigh the balance here:

Yeah... she's dumb.

But wait... there's more! ("More?" you ask. "How can there possibly be better news than this? Is everything all right in Fox Lake?")

Apparently, Ms. Dykstra drunk-dialed 911.

The call came in at 12:29 a.m. Sunday on the county 911 line as a hang-up call from a cell phone, [Sheriff Todd] Nehls said.

Dispatchers used a reverse 911 directory and called the phone, which was answered by a woman who identified herself as Patricia Dykstra, 51. She said her boyfriend made her call, because "somebody seems to think I can't drive home straight. "

Well, she can't think straight. But who says you need judgment to drive? Ha-ha, that's just ludicrous.
When the dispatcher asked her why, she said, "He seems to think I'm too intoxicated to drive. "

During a relatively pleasant conversation with the dispatcher -- a recording of which Nehls released Monday -- Dykstra gave her name, location and vehicle description before saying she should probably hang up because "I don 't like being on the phone while driving. "

Asked by the dispatcher if she had too much to drink, she said "I don 't think so, ma'am. "

And if you thought that that was a deal, well, hold on to your seats, folks!

She said she was almost home and gave the intersection. Throughout the 3 -minute call, however, the dispatcher did not suggest the woman pull over. Nehls said the dispatcher assumed the woman had already stopped, although her last advice to Dykstra was, "So Pat, drive carefully, OK?"

Yeah. That and the woman said that she's "driving"!

One last piece to close the deal here, folks:

Sheriff Todd Nehls says Dykstra did the right thing by calling them. “I think a judge will look at her and say 'you know what, you stepped up to the plate. You did the right thing.' I think it’s commendable,” he said.
She did??

*"News of the Weird", Chuck Shepherd; The Chicago Reader; March 13, 2008; p. 133.


  1. Um... WHAT? I'm just shaking my head on this one. The dispatcher displayed poor judgement in telling her to continue driving but the lady WAS driving drunk. The time to call someone would've been before she got behind the wheel. Besides that, she only called because her friend told her to AND she hung up on the original call. I wouldn't count on a judge looking too favorably upon this situation.

  2. seriously, i'd want the head of that judge if she did get off.

    yet another reason to not move to Wisconsin.

  3. Thanks, buddy but I didn't need the first reason... whatever it were.

  4. So my brother's not kidding about the rivalry between Illinoyans and Wisconsonians, huh?

    But yeah. Um. Similarly conflicted. Huh?


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