Finally, my first real milestone in my DUI penalties/punishments…the end of the VASAP classes.
On the final class, we took the same test we had taken the first class. You’re supposed to show improvement, which proves you learned something. I had only missed two questions in the first test- I thought they were trick questions- so I had no problem getting a perfect score the second time around. There are no trick questions on this test, believe me. And you won’t get kicked out or have to take the class over if you do worse or the same as the first time you took it.
We also had to turn in an essay on what we learned from our experiences with VASAP, the classes, and/or our DUI. It can be a few sentences, a paragraph, or longer if you wish. I simply touched upon a few things that we’d learned during the course (you can pull them from your book), just to prove I was listening.
The instructor gives these items to your case manager, who is supposed to read them. I’m pretty sure they get filed away and are never read. Considering how busy the case managers are, I’m guessing these are not really important, but they just want to make sure you have them to show you completed the course. The instructor told us that each week he’d been turning in the attendance sheet. If you missed a class, you have to make it up. It’s very important that if you miss a class, you let your case manager know beforehand. There are some emergencies where that’s not possible- two of my classmates were sick and did not inform the case manager beforehand, but it was still okay since they were able to prove (probably a doctor’s note) that they weren’t able to attend. But the makeup is a hassle. Sometimes you can’t get a make up for months. There was one girl that did a makeup during our class and she’d been waiting something like three months. Three guys in my class missed one and their make-ups were within scheduled for the end of next month.
We were not breathalyzed on the last class. We had turned in a final self-evaluation in the 9th class as well as a class evaluation. When we’d first learned about the last class, we were told we’d have a one-on-one evaluation at the end, but that obviously didn’t happen. Maybe we will have some type of exiting interview or meeting with our case manager? I won’t know until I call her tomorrow.
So, now that we’re done, we’re supposed to call our case manager to ask for ‘further instructions’, but our instructor said there probably were none. One of the guys in my class said he had a court appointment for October to get his license back. I mentioned this before in another post. He said he’d been given this date during his trial, but I didn’t get one during mine. It’s still not clear to me if we have to return to court to get our license reinstated, but it’s on my list of questions for when I call the case manager tomorrow. When I had asked about additional things I had to do besides paying the DMV, going to ASAP, and paying my court fines, I was told by VASAP that there was nothing else to do. So, we’ll see what they say.
And now, as I mentioned in my previous post, comes the waiting game. Unless my case manager says that I have to make regular visits- and according to VASAP and my instructor, they won’t- I’m just twiddling my thumbs waiting for the time to pass until the anniversary of my court date. And my reinstatement won’t happen the exact date of my anniversary. According to the DMV paperwork, it’s 11 days after that date. I gather that’s because it takes the state time to process your paperwork. You know, they restricted my license the same day as my trial, so why can’t they move a little faster to reinstate it, especially since I will owe no additional money and have no further responsibilities to complete for them to process this? Well, that’s government, I guess.
The end of the VASAP classes was not exciting and didn’t feel especially good except that I am moving forward. When I first started on this road, I thought that I’d feel some relief when the classes would be over, but I don’t really. I guess it would feel better if I had something else to look forward to that wasn’t so far away. There is a sense of accomplishment that at least one step is done, but there are no other steps other than the end of my restricted phase. I know I’ll feel GREAT when that comes. I wish it were sooner than later; I wish it would come on the anniversary date of the incident (four months from this weekend), but oh well.
And now I’m free to do what I need to on Mondays, no longer having to make excuses about why I can’t travel on that day. However, I still have to figure out how to deal with the fact that I can’t drive a rental car if I travel. And I have to figure out how to explain, hopefully this won’t happen, why I can’t get a security clearance until at least February of 2012 (if then).
I still feel very down about the whole thing. I don’t think ‘normal’ people that get a DUI really ever get over this. Maybe in 5-10 years when things ease up I’ll feel better. I’ll still look back in horror about the situation- about what happened and even what could have happened. I have to be happy that nothing really bad happened to me or another person as a result of the DUI. As the instructor reminded us on the last day, we have to be grateful that we didn’t hurt anyone or we aren’t being sued. If I’d hurt anyone, I don’t think I’d ever forgive myself no matter what.
I will always harbor some anger about the situation- should I really have gotten a DUI? Probably not. It seems very unfair that I now have to carry this the rest of my life with a BAC half the legal limit. But I’ve learned some things about myself through this incident and at least I have that.