Editor’s note: The following letters were written anonymously as a condition of settlements reached with the help of the Comox Valley Community Justice Centre.
One mid-August day in the early morning I made a poor decision under the influence of alcohol. I snuck out of the house in the early morning not thinking of what could go wrong or who my poor choices would affect. What I thought would be fun “car hopping” turned into a very strong life lesson quickly. I came across what I know now as a bait car (bait car is an undercover police vehicle made to look like a normal car on the side of the road, to catch kids and bust them for breaking into vehicles… which clearly works) and I opened the bait car and took items that were in the vehicle that were not mine to take. The bait car took pictures of my face and sent them to the police station, around 9 p.m. I got a knock on my door and two very reasonable police officers arrested me. I got taken down to the police station and was fingerprinted and questioned. I was very honest and had understood what I did was wrong on so many levels.
Alcohol was a main factor in all this, it made me go against my moral judgment and I would have never done this if I was not under the influence. Alcohol can have numerous effects on a developing brain like mine. Your cerebral cortex works with information from a person’s senses which when you drink your senses slow down and you cannot think clearly which leads to poor decision making. The hippocampus is the part of your brain where your memories are stored. When alcohol reaches your hippocampus a person may have trouble remembering a person’s name or phone number. Alcohol can damage this part of your brain because your brain is still growing until you’re in your twenties. Alcohol can hurt your brain in various ways but these were a couple that stood out to me and made me think twice about how I’m ruining my body and how it affects my brain.
When I was doing this foolish act I didn’t think about how many people got affected by this, like the officer in charge of this case, taking time out of his day to do all the paperwork, and I’m sure taking time away from his family to deal with my case. And it most of all affected the community. I never did this to make my community feel unsafe or uneasy about trusting teenagers. In my household my family was very disappointed, angry and hurt by my actions and they lost all trust in me, which now will take time to gain back. Now that I have been through this life lesson I have understood who this affects and how it could have affected my future very much so. With me being so young I wouldn’t have had a chance at college and seeing the world wouldn’t be on my agenda. I have written the officer in charge a letter of apology explaining my actions and what I learned from this, I’ll continue to tell my peers the wrong doing of this act, to make them notice the impact it makes on our community. I am apologizing to the community for my actions and I hope this bait car program catches more kids and changes their perspective on car hopping just like it has for me. I make a commitment to never do this again.
Having a community in which you feel safe and content is ideal and is one of the many reasons this Valley is special. My actions endangered the community and those who live here which is why I need to say that I am sorry to all the members of the community. Drinking and driving kills thousands every year and I could have contributed to that. As I think back, there could have been so much avoided if someone said something and didn’t let me drive, so I encourage everyone to never let anyone drive a vehicle after they have been drinking. I have lived in the Valley my whole life and I would like to contribute to helping diminish the drunk driving because of my experience. I would like to again apologize to everyone in the community for creating unsafe streets.
On August 15, 2015 a friend and I were not thinking straight and “car hopped” a car. It was 4 o’clock in the morning and we thought it wouldn’t matter at the time, but it was a stupid decision and I knew it at the time, but more so now, that it wasn’t right. Being dumb teenagers and intoxicated, an item in the car caught our attention and we didn’t think about everything we should have such as other people’s property or feelings, or the consequences. We were being selfish and completely regretted it and felt bad right away.
Alcohol was a factor in this incident. We were pretty intoxicated and weren’t thinking straight. Right when it happened we felt really guilty and scared. Alcohol is a major cause of crimes, fights and bad decisions. Nobody really thinks before drinking a lot of alcohol. Teens take it for granted and drink as much as they are able to. Alcohol is really dangerous, especially for minors, because they don’t know what they are getting into and make very bad decisions without thinking of the consequences.
I was aware at the time and I am aware now that what we did affected a fair amount of people. When you invade or destroy a vehicle, no matter what the situation is, it makes the owner scared, angry and upset. I felt bad right when it happened and I do to this day. Both my friend and I know it was wrong and we don’t know why we did it, but we have faced the consequences and will never do it again.
We definitely learned our lesson and will never do it again. Reparation is being made by facing the consequences that were given. I regret what we did and I can honestly say I will never make stupid choices again. Intoxication causes very bad decisions and doesn’t put you in the right mind set. I will never make such a bad decision or invade anyone’s property again.