Woman Reports Herself For Drunk Driving
By: Mary Ann Pekara
Sometimes police officers have to work hard to try to get drunk drivers off the roads. Often drunk driving checkpoints are ineffective, but if everyone were like Patricia Dykstra, they would have no problem at all making DUI arrests.
Recently, an unusual call came in to the dispatcher at the Dodge County Sheriff's Office in Wisconsin. The caller wanted to report suspicions that she had about a driver who might be driving drunk. She gave the dispatcher a detailed description of the vehicle and the driver.
One of the reasons that the caller was able to describe the tan 2002 pickup truck and the driver might have been that it was Dykstra calling, and she was calling to report herself to the police for driving under the influence.
In a 911 call that sounded like a joke, but sadly, was entirely serious, Dykstra told the dispatcher at the sheriff's office that her boyfriend, who was riding in the passenger seat of the truck, had told her to call 911 because she was too drunk to drive. She said that her boyfriend could not drive them home because he was too drunk.
When the initial call to 911 was made from Dykstra's cell phone, either she or her boyfriend apparently lost their nerve and hung up on the dispatcher as the call connected. The call was traced and dispatcher called the cell phone back. Dykstra answered and identified herself and told the dispatcher that her boyfriend had actually made the 911 call.
When questioned about why her boyfriend had called 911, Dykstra explained quite simply, in slurred speech, that he had called because "somebody seems to think I can't drive home straight."
The dispatcher then asked her why he thought that she could not drive home, Dykstra answered, "He seems to think I'm too intoxicated to drive."
Dykstra continued to chat with the 911 dispatcher, giving her full name, location and description of the vehicle she was driving. Then, as if she were talking with an old friend, she told the dispatcher that she probably should hang up because she didn't like to talk on the phone while she was driving.
Before the call ended, the dispatcher did get a chance to ask Dykstra if she had, in fact, had too much to drink. Dykstra answered, "I don 't think so, ma'am."
The call lasted 3 minutes and during that time, the dispatcher did not suggest that Dykstra pull over or stop the truck. Her last words to Dykstra were, "So Pat, drive carefully, Okay?"
Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls says that despite that comment, the dispatcher had thought that Dykstra had already stopped the truck because she had said she did not like to drive and talk on the phone at the same time. Before the call ended, the dispatcher had gotten the location of the intersection where Dykstra said that she was and it was mistakenly assumed that she had stopped the truck there.
Police officers arrived at Dykstra's home a short time later and she met them on her front porch. She admitted to police that she had consumed a 6-pack of beer before driving and that her boyfriend had consumed a 12-pack of beer. She was given a ticket for DUI.
Dykstra complained about receiving the ticket and said that she didn't think she should be charged with DUI since she had made it home before police got there.