DUI’s and Atlanta Housewives

It was too hot to garden when we got home, but just the right temperature for frozen margaritas. Back in LA we’d mix frozen margi’s and float in the pool on hot days. On this day in Atlanta, we sat in front of the air conditioning vents.

There was a neighborhood pool, but it wasn’t real conducive to adult-style relaxing: more of a floating romper-room vibe than a floating island-party vibe. We tried sitting on our porch, like a lot of people do on summer days here, but it was kind of like sitting in a steam room with your clothes on. Don’t get me wrong, there are two really nice porch seasons here in early spring and all of fall, but they are short-lived. Late spring turns into a pollen-filled sneeze-fest, and fall falls fast.

I can understand why people drink a lot here: it’s often too hot, too humid, too wet, or too cold. These extremes can lead one to look for an escape. You can find yourself in trouble pretty quickly. There seem to be more DUI-related businesses here than anywhere I’ve lived (and that’s about ten cities from LA, New York, Paris, and Boston, to Minneapolis, Madison and even Calgary, Canada).

In Atlanta there are billboards and commercials on TV and radio touting DUI schools, lawyers, lawyers and more lawyers. Getting a DUI here almost seems like a rite of passage. Maybe the police here have a reputation for being strict for this very reason (or maybe they created the reason, I don’t know).

Police in Atlanta will pull you over anywhere, anytime, for anything. This is in contrast to LA where you have to be practically brandishing a firearm to get a cop to even notice you. In Atlanta, the cops hang out near bars, in subdivisions, and always on the sides of the freeway with a radar gun pointed at you. They will set up random roadblocks in broad daylight just to check your license, registration and insurance….and maybe green card.

Back in the Blockbuster Video days, there was a story about an Atlanta housewife who got into one of these random checks: They ran her license and somehow figured out she had failed to return a couple of movies and owed Blockbuster a good bit of money, so they took her in. More recently, some Georgia cops shut down a little girl’s lemonade stand for not having a business permit or food license…. I’ll take two of those lemonades please, with extra shots of vodka!

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