“The best defense is a good offense.”
The word offense can be pronounced as aw-fens or uh-fens. When applied to war, sports or strategy, as in the above quote, the word is accented on the second syllable and pronounced aw-fens, but an infraction of the law is termed an uh-fens. When Bill was faced with a likely field sobriety test both meanings of the word became highly relevant to him.
The last half hour had seen him engage in single minded pursuit of reaching Gabrielle and coming to her assistance. His sleep had been interrupted twice, once with news that broke his heart and then less than two hours later with a report that terrified him. Gabrielle was in trouble, his goal was to help her and this supposed agent of the law stood barring the door as he made sure that he’d dotted his “I’s” and crossed his “T’s.” These circumstances along with the alcohol he had consumed combined in a way that sent Bill into frustrated turmoil.
Cool under fire was something he prided in himself and it appeared that the time may have arrived for him to go on the offense. Seething internally he merely looked to his nemesis and asked, “Have I been drinking? Is there a reason that you ask or what? I need to see Gabrielle, officer.”
“Mr. Finger, I asked you a simple question and you haven’t answered it. Have you been drinking tonight?”
Bill had spent a lot of time in court. He’d seen countless people get in big trouble because they had either lied to the cops or perjured themselves. ‘Answers that are truthful but misleading are not lies,’ he thought. ‘I need a truthful yet dissembling answer.’
“Yes, Officer Davies,” he responded after quickly checking the cop’s name tag. “I had two drinks today. Is there a problem with that? I’m definitely not drunk.” ‘The day began at midnight and that’s how many White Russians I’ve drunk- drank?-since then.’
Cops, of course, hear a lot of bunk. “Glad to hear it. Get out of the car please, sir.”
Frustrated, distraught and anxious Bill’s brain was overtaxed. ‘How the hell do I get around this joker?’ Thinking back to the last thing he did before leaving his house he also remembered mitigating factors on DUI charges. ‘Should I play the mouthwash card or is that just going to waste more time?’ “Is this really nece-”
“Mr. Finger? I have an assault case to investigate. You claim that you are here to give comfort and aid to the victim. Great. If you cooperate with me we can both get back to doing what we’re here for, me investigating, you comforting. If you won’t cooperate I can just have you blow into the breathalyzer and then put you in the back of my squad car until another officer can appear. Shouldn’t take more than an hour would be my guess. Now what’ll it be? Cooperation and speed, or you throwing a wrench into me helping your friend?”
Boxed in and faced with one possible avenue that might lead to his goal Bill looked at Davies, smiled and asked, “How can I help, Officer?”