One of the businesses I speak for on my radio show is longtime Texas DWI defense attorney Gary Trichter. Among the talking points that I continually hammer home for listeners is the fact that Gary Trichter co-authored the textbook for DWI defense in the state of Texas.
So yes, there is a textbook specifically for DWI attorneys, but what about the drivers themselves? Nobody thinks to provide a textbook for morons who make a hobby out of running their Blood Alcohol Content up to twice the legal limit and turning their motor vehicles into one-ton cruise missiles. Nobody has outlined a simple six-step plan for how to handle your arrest.
Thankfully, drunken fools everywhere have Miguel Cabrera, the patron saint of alcohol-related buffoonery.
The Detroit Tigers first baseman is known for two things -- hitting the baseball and hitting the bottle.
With respect to the former, Cabrera is flat out the best hitter in baseball not named Albert Pujols. The American League MVP runner-up in 2010, through the age of 27 baseball-reference.com lists the following hitters as being the eight most similar to Cabrera through the same age: Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey, Hal Trosky, Mickey Mantle, Pujols, Orlando Cepeda and Al Kaline.
If you're scoring at home, that's five Hall of Famers, two lock future Hall of Famers, and a guy named Hal Trosky. Pretty sporty company.
But with the transcendent good comes the ultra-dark bad. In 2009, down the stretch of a season with huge expectations, Cabrera went on a drinking binge, got into a fight with his wife and had to be picked up at the police station by general manager Dave Dombrowski the morning of a game. The Tigers wound up losing the division in a tiebreaker to the Twins that season.
Cabrera had managed to stay straight since then, publicly at least, until Wednesday night when just days before he was to report to spring training, he was arrested for suspicion of drunken driving In Florida and, in the process, put together the textbook on how to best handle your DUI "pull over."
So pay attention, kids. If you're ever pulled over on a Saturday night 12 beers in, do it like the pros do. Like Miguel Cabrera.
Behold, The Cabrera Six-Step Conduct Plan for a DUI arrest:
1. Cabrera was spotted in a car with a smoking engine by a deputy on the side of a road in Fort Pierce. See, even a $100 million athlete has car trouble! Seriously, if Cabrera drives the quality of car we think he does, he must have been riding that thing like it was lap 200 at Daytona for it to be smoking.
2. Inside the vehicle, Cabrera smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and took a swig of scotch in front of a deputy. On a related note, Cabrera refused a breathalyzer test, a move one normally makes if they haven't been drinking or they want to leave doubt about how much they've been drinking. While chugging expensive scotch somewhat diminishes the doubt as to whether or not you've been drinking, it does show a mindless confidence that will make for a great story when you're bragging to your friends -- "Yeah, and then the cop was like, 'Get outta the car' and I'm like, 'Whatever dude' and I chugged half the bottle."
3. Cabrera refused to cooperate and more deputies were called to the scene. Yes, kids, if the cops are gonna bust you, make them work for it.
4. Cabrera wandered into the road with his hands in the air before getting handcuffed. It's entirely possible that "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus was playing on the stereo, and Cabrera was just putting his hands, they were playing his song, he knew he was gonna be okay...(Yeah, I know the lyrics...I have a 13-year-old daughter. That's my excuse.)
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5. Cabrera continually asked the officers, "Do you know who I am?" "Do you know who I am?"...a celebrity arrest staple. To Cabrera's credit, unlike recent "Do you know who I am?" club inductee Legedu Naanee, people actually probably do know who he is.
6. Cabrera smiled for the camera in his mugshot. Because you never know when someone might approach him to autograph it. (How much would you pay on eBay for that ridiculous mugshot signed by Cabrera? Bidding starts at $250.)
Cabrera has five years and $106 million remaining on a $152 million contract he signed with the Tigers three years ago. $106 million buys a lot of scotch, a lot of lawyers and a lot of bail money. Assuming Cabrera's around to see it.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.