Saturday, July 2, 2016

Weekenders...

The other day, I got bored and looked up an old classmate of mine.  Back when we were in college, she was known for being the winner of our school's now defunct beauty pageant.  She eventually went on to win Miss Virginia and competed in the Miss America pageant.  She did very well in Miss America and almost won the big prize.

Years later, I wondered what she was doing.  I Googled her name and quickly found her.  Unfortunately, I also discovered that she was recently arrested for her second DWI in five to ten years.  That means that if she's convicted, she will be going to jail.

I didn't know this particular classmate very well, other than what I saw around campus and when she was in the Miss America pageant.  Her father was very well-regarded in the Navy and achieved a very high rank.  I remember her mentioning him in the Miss America pageant.  He was in Haiti.  He's now retired and appears to be a very successful businessman.

Anyway, because I was curious about what happens to people in Virginia who get caught driving while intoxicated, I looked up the penalties.  What I found out is that along with all of the minimum penalties for a first DWI, my former classmate would have to pay at least $500.  She would also have to spend at least 20 days in jail and enroll in VASAP, which costs several hundred dollars.  She will have to have an Interlock installed on her vehicles, too.  I Googled jail in the city where she would likely be serving her time and ran across a very interesting newspaper article about so-called "weekenders".

A "weekender" in jail parlance refers to a person who does their time on the weekends.  They report to jail on Friday evening and spend the whole weekend locked up until Sunday evening.  This arrangement allows people to keep going to work and tending to their everyday lives.  My guess is that if she's convicted, my former classmate will probably end up being a weekender.

I kind of wonder if it's better or worse to spend several weekends in jail.  Sure, "straight time" could be horrendous and exhausting, but at least it's over with.  Weekend jail can last for weeks.  That's every weekend ruined for a significant amount of time.  At least in Virginia Beach, weekenders can make their time less horrible by ordering themselves a care package.  The care packages are something else.  They cost a fortune.  Weekenders can order a $20 bag of snacks and/or a $15 time passer package, which includes puzzle books.  If you have to come back week after week, you have to buy a new puzzle package.  You can't bring an unfinished one back into the facility.

Basically, if you become a "weekender", you will be ripped off, bored, exhausted, and possibly starved because the food they give you is terrible.   You might even end up dead.

In 2011, I remember reading about one woman who died in a Virginia Beach jail cell.  Jaqueline Schwartz went to court to show that she'd completed a safe driving course, but ended up being arrested because she was under the influence of alcohol.  While she was in jail, she choked on her identification bracelet.  Her husband later sued for wrongful death and the company who was in charge of providing medical care in the jail paid him $600,000.  Ms. Schwartz was a newlywed who had hoped to start a family with her husband.

Well, whatever happens, I wish my former classmate luck.  And I hope that she doesn't have any more legal issues that might turn her into a weekender.


2 comments:

  1. Do you know anything about the circumstances surrounding the woman choking on her ID brecelet? I'm just curious.

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    Replies
    1. My guess is that the woman was going through delirium tremens. Although she claimed she'd only had wine at dinner the night before, she blew a .21 when they Breathalyzed her in the courtroom. It sounded to me like she was suffering from alcohol withdrawal.

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