This past weekend my son Logan and I loaded up the truck and made a trip to the river. We were headed to Ft. Randall Dam for the weekend. Since the rest of the crew had left before us, we took our time and eventually hit the road.

Now, this was the July 4th weekend. It would have been easy to say, "hey lets stop off for a quick one before we hit the road."

It would have been even easier to stop at one of the watering holes along the way. With the warm weather, signs and billboards cried out "hey stop in for a cold one." 

We didn't. And I'm glad we, didn't. Here's why.

As we were coming down the hill from the Ft. Randall Casino at the top of Radar Hill west of Wagner, where Casey's would have been an easy stop for a quick 6, we noticed flashing lights. A DUI Checkpoint was set up at the bottom of the hill just before you pull into Pickstown, South Dakota.

As we were pulling in I mentioned to Logan that I would lay money down that the guy ahead of us was going to get to walk a yellow line. If I was a patrol man I would have pulled him over coming down the hill. I was surprised when he didn't. Then it was our turn.

Now, I was never a good student in school. I was rarely prepared for a test. I usually worried and hoped to somehow pass. This time and this test would be different.

A polite highway patrol man asked If I had been drinking any alcohol tonight. I told him no. He didn't ask if I had thought about it. If he had, the story would have been different.

He noticed the Minnesota Twins shirt I was wearing and asked how the Twins were doing tonight. I said "last time we checked, it was no score. But I'm sure their down 5 or 6 runs by now." He chuckled and must have bought my no drinking act and waved us through.

It was a good reminder. A beer or two before taking off down the road was tempting, but the checkpoint was and is a good reminder. The reminder was simple and to the point. If you're going to drive, don't drink.

We finally arrived at our destination, where the crew had a major league head start on celebrating. They wanted to go to the casino for a bit. Logan agreed to drive.

On the way back through the same officer asked if anyone in the car had been drinking. They all waved their hands. He asked Logan. He said no. He had to take the test. He blew and passed, and they went on through.

That leads me to my second point. You hear about it all the time. If you're going drink, have a designated driver. It paid off this past weekend. And served as a great reminder to drive sober. Drive Safe.


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