California DUI Woman to Her Arresting Officer: Thank You!

It’s the same in real life as it is on the police dramas we see on television: people who are arrested say a lot of things to cops, but never “thank you.”

The exception is Mariya Fair, a California mother who was arrested for DUI on New Year’s Eve.  After a crash at a stoplight, at which no one was injured, she was booked for DUI by Fontana Police Officer Wayne Blessinger. She had been taking pain pills and muscle relaxants for what was really depression.

Recently she returned to the station to thank Officer Blessinger for the arrest that changed her life. His concern for her led to her getting help and turning her life around. In a TV interview Fair eloquently called it a “badly wrapped gift.”

It’s not always apparent to people being arrested for DUI, but the mechanisms in place to prevent DUIs can benefit the drinker as well as society.

  • Quite often an arrest of an otherwise law-abiding person is a wake-up call that forces the offender to deal with a problem that has been around for some time.
  • DUI courts and mandatory alcohol assessment and treatment have helped many offenders understand and get control of a drinking problem.
  • Ignition interlocks, or car breathalyzers, which prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking, have  been found to be useful during rehab, when setbacks can often lead to impaired driving. Ignition interlock providers are sometimes thanked for their part in helping a drunk driver get back on the path of legal, safe driving.

Police, courts, and ignition interlock providers don’t expec t thanks from impaired drivers, but on occasion, someone realizes that we’re all the same side – that of public safety – and we get a hat tip. Our pleasure.