Richard Got Man Flu and Joel Got Stripes Around the Shoulder

by Joel on April 19, 2008

It isn’t possible for me to go into all the details at this time, but I was arrested last night and spent about 10 hours in the Bixby, Oklahoma Municipal Jail. Bixby is a city of about 20,000 located in Tulsa and Wagoner Counties in Oklahoma. The night in the slammer followed a somewhat uncomfortable (handcuffs really don’t feel good, though I had guessed as much) ride to Tulsa’s SouthCrest Hospital for blood samples. I was treated well, although the windowless, 9 x 12 cell felt confining and the ever present light was somewhat irritating. I didn’t get a pillow, but the matress was fairly new and a lot more comfortable than a night spent in a sleeping bag layed out on the ground. I slept for a while, then walked about 4/10 of a mile in the cell, then slept some more. Breakfast was good. I was treated well by the arresting officer, a former pastor, and the night crew, but insultingly and rudely by several of the morning crew. My request for their identification and badge numbers was refused with threatening language. I was released this morning at around 10:30 a.m., after my older brother paid my $545 bond. For $132, I retrieved my Honda Civic from impoundment. An intended charge of driving under the influence of alcohol wasn’t pursued after the breathalyzer test revealed an absolute zero alcohol content. So far, Barack Obama has not elected to return my campaign contributions, so maybe this won’t be a national scandal. Now what will be the reaction of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church? We shall see.

I am scheduled for a court appearance on May 6. Please keep me in your prayers or if you wish contact me at jtb21967 (with an abode of aoldotcom) that would be welcome, too. It is best that I not discuss other charges or the particular circumstances of the arrest. However, up to that “wondrous” hour I had spent my day-off enjoying the wonderful sunshine, ordering a refill on my narcolepsy medicine, picking up prescriptions in Bristow, Oklahoma, a nearby small town where my paternal grandparents once ran a court-style motel; watching the movie 88 Minutes at the Tulsa Southroads AMC 20 Theater using a gift card given to me by my younger brother for my birthday a couple of weeks ago; browsing Barnes & Noble; purchasing a new network card at Circuit City, exercise equipment at Academy Sporting Goods, then visiting my older brother and his family in Tulsa and finally buying some birthday items for my younger brother at Wally World in or near Bixby before heading for home. Uh, yes, I paid for all the items. :-) The trivia listings are mainly to show how ordinary most of the day was.

I purchased the excercise equipment at Academy to get in better shape for a Tulsa Youth Services 5K run in Tulsa on June 14, to be held in memory of my late nephew, Bart Betow, May 13, 1987 - September 15, 2005. Speaking of Bart, I would also like to lift up his cousin, Corey Lovato, of Colorado, who broke his neck in a snowboarding accident a year ago. It has been a real struggle for him and his family, but I understand he is mustering the determination, grace and courage more than proportionate to the frailty of the human condition.

Tonight at church we are having a Seder Service with full meal hosted by the inspiring, dynamic, witty and Jewish wife of one of our church members; I can’t say I have done much but watch some of the preparations. Just as I was arriving back home early this afternoon, my younger brother text-messaged that he planned to stop by on his way to Oklahoma City. He just stayed for a short while as I had a phone call to make about a young church member seriously injured in an auto accident. However, his visit was very encouraging. Anyway, the accident victim is now being treated at the OU (University of Oklahoma) Medical Center in Oklahoma City for multiple breaks and abrasions but should pull through fine after some surgeries and rehab. Prayers are appreciated for this young lady.

UPDATE. I am adding to this post a response I made in the comments section to clarify that it is the details of the day, etc. that should not be shared at this time, but that the information that is of public record can be shared. The comment I added reads:

I should clarify maybe that there were only two charges:

1. Driving under the influence of drugs.

2. Improper lane use.

All the drugs in my system were legally prescribed, but Oklahoma is a state where the legality of the drug is not admissable with respect to the charge of driving under the influence.

Oklahoma has some of the harshest laws in the nation regarding driving while taking legally prescribed drugs.

There is a ‘damned if you do” and a “damned if you don’t” aspect at work. For instance, if one is in accident resulting in the death of another, the failure to take a presribed narcolepsy medicine can result in a charge of vehicular manslaughter. On the other hand, if you are in an accident resulting in death and have taken the narcolepsy medicine, you can be charged with driving under the influence.

Joel Betow
Stroud, Oklahoma USA

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Richard 04.20.08 at 7:31 am

Gosh! You have been having a time of it.

2

J 04.20.08 at 10:25 pm

So how realistic is “Oz”?

3

Joel Betow 04.20.08 at 10:49 pm

As I had no cellmates it was more like short-term solitary.
So no OZ and no room with a view.

4

BD 04.20.08 at 11:42 pm

Yeah handcuffs hurt. I’ve only been threatened with arrest and more for doing my job, fortunately I haven’t had to go to jail.

Wow, getting arrested is expensive!

You blew clean, had blood samples taken and your own cell.
Other charges…you’ll fill us in when you can. eh?

Glad your family and church were there for you and you for them.

Prayers for all.

5

Richard 04.21.08 at 12:27 pm

I had a brief spell in my younger days when I had regular contact with members of the constabulary, mostly on account of the car I owned. Those little contretemps never resulted in having my collar felt though (for which, I have to say, I’m grateful).

6

J 04.21.08 at 2:35 pm

Like BD, I’d be curious about the details when you’re able.

“My request for their identification and badge numbers was refused with threatening language”

I’m curious about other readers’ thoughts here. I deal with cusotmer complaints about front line employees quite a bit at work, and in nearly all cases I think asking for this type of information is unnecessary and has little effect apart from escalating a confrontation. Generally the identity of the employee(s) you’re dealing with is a matter of record, and if your complaint can make any difference, the manager in charge of those you had problems with can figure out who it was with time/date/location info. Indeed, when you describe the problem you had, in many cases they know exactly who you’re talking about long before you pass along any identifying information. I’m not saying don’t make any complaints about bad behavior - believe me, if the boss is trying to “build a case”, he wants to hear from you. Just don’t be disappointed if there’s no immediate action taken.

7

Joel 04.21.08 at 9:37 pm

I should clarify maybe that there were only two charges:

1. Driving under the influence of drugs.

2. Improper lane use.

All the drugs in my system were legally prescribed, but Oklahoma is a state where the legality of the drug is not admissable with respect to the charge of driving under the influence.

Oklahoma has some of the harshest laws in the nation regarding driving while taking legally prescribed drugs.

There is a ‘damned if you do” and a “damned if you don’t” aspect at work. For instance, if one is in accident resulting in the death of another, the failure to take a presribed narcolepsy medicine can result in a charge of vehicular manslaughter. On the other hand, if you are in an accident resulting in death and have taken the narcolepsy medicine, you can be charged with driving under the influence.

8

ljj 04.22.08 at 3:38 am

wow - what a night!! want to hear more when you can - just be thankful it was Friday p.m. & not Sat p.m., your church might have really thought badly of you if you had to “call in” from jail - keep us posted. Could you carry a letter from your Dr stating you are taking that Rx?? Just a thought (on his letter-head & notarized, of course!!)

9

Joel 04.22.08 at 9:50 am

ljj,

The letter is a good idea, but would make no difference as to a charge of impaired driving. The bottle containing the narcolepsy medicine was in my car and it shows clear authority to use the medicine. There are no charges of illegal possession. The charging document doesn’t specy legal or illegal drugs because that can only be determined by blood analysis, which should be available in about 12 days. It is simply my own knowledge that my sample will reveal the presence of legally prescribed drugs only. Again, the matter for me and my attorney is to show that such legal drugs didn’t impair my driving.

Just as a reminder to readers, at least in the USA, NEVER have in your car any prescription drug that isn’t in its original container, particularly if the drug is a controlled substance. You have the right to later demonstrate a valid prescription but you might spend a night in jail first. And when you pack for those trips by air, train, etc., carry the pills in the original container and if you are traveling out of state or, particularly, out of country, it can be helpful to also have a letter from your physician, particularly if it is a controlled substance. I carry a letter regarding my gamma hydroxybutyrate (sodium oxybate, Xyrem) with me at all times. Also, out of country, check the legality of each prescription drug for every country you plan to travel through, unless they are common non-controlled substances such as thyroid, heart, acid reflux, etc. medicines. Some countries regulate Xyrem differently than the US, and for a while, Xyrem was legal in 47 states and illegal in 3, including Oklahoma.

10

Bene D 04.23.08 at 7:00 am

After I read your post I went doing a bit of digging in Oklahoma media and romped around some Oklahoma police department sites.

There has been an on-going drug sweep in the area you were in that day and I wondered whether you and your prescribed meds were caught up in it.

The fact you were taken for blood tests was a clue.

Thanks for letting us know what the charges are, it’s good to hear you have a lawyer.

Xyrem is legal in Canada, you’d not be hassled if your prescription is labelled properly.

11

PamBG 04.23.08 at 1:25 pm

Sending prayers for you Joel.

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