February 27th, 2013

  • iffi

Underage DUI: Conditions, Circumstances, Procedures & Ramifications & 911 Calls

Setting: PA, USA, 2006

Searched areas: Searched through little_details tags, ask_a_cop; Googled ‘underage DUI in PA’, ‘underage DUI in PA drugs’, ‘911 call drugs procedures’ ‘911 calls procedures drug overdose’ amongst so many others…


I have a whole bunch of questions around a particular situation in my writing that sounded brilliant in theory, but is proving to be quite complicated and intricate and colossal in reality. As such, I’m not sure if I’ve bitten off more than is possible to chew. I have had reasonable successes in googling and searching for information about various individual aspects of the situation, but when I put it all together, I’m not sure if the usual rules apply. Hence, research has proved a bit of a nightmare, so any help on any of my questions and even the proposed situation itself would be greatly appreciated.

The Proposed Sequence of Events:

I have two teenage males. One is 18 (the ‘driver’), one is 17 (the ‘passenger’ – who is also the narrator). They are something akin to ex-boyfriends, if that makes any difference. The driver is off his head on something-or-other and is going to coerce (read: emotionally blackmail) the passenger into his car. The passenger will not be under the influence of anything, but he is a bit of a sucker, so he goes along with it. The driver is then going to take off onto the interstate and pull up at something like a rest stop somewhere and go a crazy at the passenger regarding their ‘break-up’. He is then going to collapse. Accordingly, the passenger is going to call 911 from his cell phone. An ambulance will be sent out – and possibly the police (see below). In real time, the whole sequence of events – from the moment the driver first starts taking the substances (in private) to the moment the passenger calls 911 – will probably be about 3 hours, but this is adaptable if needs be.

The problems arise from the fact that I have been thinking about this solely from the passenger/narrator’s perspective – who doesn’t and won’t actually know what the driver has taken or even what he’s up to – and not from an outsider’s POV: i.e. in the real world.

A few more important (I think?) details about the driver:

The driver has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, although he is not an addict. His drug of choice is cocaine, but he is not picky. He has no DUIs as of yet. However, when he was 16 he ran away, took some narcotics and was hauled into hospital after he went psychotic in public, injuring himself only, and an onlooker called the police. This whole escapade resulted in him being sent into a residential therapy facility for adolescents. His Dad is a ‘powerful’ lawyer.

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Many many thanks to anyone who can offer advice/answer any of these questions - I'm aware there's a lot of them! You're all wonderful.

PS - Tagged like fury. Please amend if incorrect - it's been a long long time since I've posted here!

career/income arc of a journalist

Setting: Boston area, contemporary (same AU as my previous post)

I have read that it is basically impossible these days to enter a career in journalism if you don’t have wealthy parents, because the money that newspapers and magazines pay their cub reporters (if they pay anything at all) is not enough to live on. But what happens after the reporter graduates from cub-hood? What kinds of beats would they cover as they rise through the ranks over about 15 years (this essay, for example, suggests that the standard advice is to spend three years as a local paper, then switch to a national paper), and what income would they be pulling in at every stage? If an experienced reporter wanted/needed to move to a higher-paying corporate job, what positions would they be suited for and how much of an income bump would they expect from it?

Related: I’m about 2/3 of the way through reading Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class, and one of the things that strikes me is that the people the author mentions as belonging to this class are pretty much exclusively in medicine, law, or business/finance. There are prominent newspaper publishers in this class, but I didn’t notice any journalists per se. Is “use the family wealth to subsidize your cub-reporter kid” not merely an upper-class thing, but a white upper-class thing? Or is such behavior equally rare among all ethnic groups?