Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I've been a bad boy

I have lived now in Alaska since August of 2005 and I still have yet to go get my Alaska driver's license.

So that's what I'm doing today when I pick Amy up from work at 2 pm. I have to take the written test. I am studying with my little DMV driver manual.

The basics: drunk driving limit is .08. Always yield to buses. Know your signs. That's all we really have to know. After, what, 18 years of driving, I think I have the rest down. I've only ever gotten stupid speeding tickets, like for doing 40 miles an hour in a thirty in DeKalb, IL. (Oh, wait, there was that one for doing 100 in Montana when I was driving back in 1999 to pick up my stuff to go move out to Washington State, but that doesn't count as it was 8 am with nobody around for hundreds of miles. Yes, it was my fault, but...nevermind.)

I remember taking my driving test in Washington and almost flunking. I think I could miss like 4 questions all together and I missed the four in the first ten. I was worried, but I managed to pull it out. I think I was upset about those questions because they were specifically on drunk driving. More specifically, they were on the fines and legal procedures for after you get caught, i.e. suspensions. I didn't know. I still don't. If the hierarchy has established the rule "Don't drink and drive" then why do I need to know anything specific under that umbrella? Don't drink and drive. I get that. I don't drink and drive. Especially as a teacher, I know that would mean trouble for me, plus I would never endanger others (I read Superman still, for Pete's sake). If I don't drink and drive, why would I have to know the fines and suspensions? I don't think that's fair. I know that I can't go around killing anyone but I don't know any of the fines and subcategories of murder and manslaughter (and what I do know has only been derived off of cop shows). Do I have to know the differences between murder in the third degree or manslaughter? No. Do I have to know the differences between suspensions for drunk driving? No. Just don't drink and drive.

I just hope I don't have to take the real driving test. I have never mastered parallel parking, only slightly.

When we didn't have the car for six months or so after we moved here, there was no immediate hurry as we never drove anyway. Plus, the DMV here in Nome shuts down periodically as there is only one woman who runs it. Her vacations are the DMV vacations. At least I soon will be a legal Alaskan driver. My third state license, by the way.

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