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Like virtually every other citizen of the USA Bill was aware that driving while intoxicated was illegal. Over his lifetime he had twice seen Maryland’s blood alcohol limit become more stringent and had nodded in agreement when his home state had, over the course of three years, raised the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 while grandfathering in those who had already been able to legally purchase booze. He readily granted the need to control drunk driving but this was the first he’d heard of Maryland’s DWI point oh four limit.

“What the hell are you talking about? It says oh seven two. That’s way lower than point oh eight.”

“Point oh eight is driving under the influence, point oh four is driving while impaired, sir. You are well above the oh four for DWI and you were driving recklessly.

Officer Davies stared into Bill’s eyes and frankly told him that with the blood alcohol level the breathalyzer indicated that he had every right to park Bill in the back of his cruiser and have him cool his heels, an action that would make Davies’ life easier while greatly complicating Bill’s. After detailing the harrowing scenario he added, “Or you can do as you’re told and if the Gibeons want you in their house and you can keep your mouth shut then I can talk to Mrs. Gibeon and find out what transpired tonight.

“What’ll it be, Mr. Finger?”

‘Games,’ Bill thought, ‘cops just love to play games. Is he for real with this point oh four thing?’ “You’re really not making this up?”

Based on the detailed response he was given Bill decided Davies was either expert at controlling people using fear or was truthful in his explanation concerning Maryland’s two tiered alcohol limit. “We tend to reserve it for people who were driving recklessly, like you were. First offense DWI can carry license suspension, a fine and possible imprisonment. Oh, yeah. And eight points on your license, not to mention court time. So what do you say?”

‘Billy, I think it’s time to admit defeat and bow to the inevitable. Maybe if I bare my neck this alpha dog can just go about his business and let me go about mine.’ “I’d appreciate it if you could let me see Gabrielle and overlook my possible infraction, Officer.”

“‘Possible.’ I like that. You a lawyer?”

“No,” Bill replied. ‘Maybe humor will help?’ “I’m a drug dealer. Pharmaceuticals. I spend some time in court because of my job. Can we go in?”

Davies smiled which Bill took as a good sign. More importantly they headed toward Gabrielle’s open front door where Davies knocked on the frame. “Mr. Gibeon?” he called out, “This gentleman says that you called him and asked him to come over?”

Bill steeled himself for his first face to face encounter with Gabrielle’s husband. As Officer Davies had said it was Adriel’s and Gabrielle’s call as to whether he’d be granted contact or not.

It wasn’t Adriel’s voder produced voice that greeted him but rather his young friend, the hard working and effervescent Duvan Diaz’s. “Mr. Finger! Thank you for coming!” he gibbered but Bill’s attention was elsewhere. The real impediment to his entry sat in a wheelchair looking up at him from inside the house.

 

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