The following story is something very personal that has changed my life completely (in a positive way) & I’d like to share with everyone. I wanna show people that we all make mistakes but it’s what we do after that proves who we are. This will be broken up into four parts: THE MISTAKE, 17.5HRS IN JAIL, THE CONSEQUENCES & THE NEW ME.


You are probably wondering “damn so who was Jaime before the MISTAKE that he’s changed so much”. I wasn’t a bad person and it’s not that I have changed a lot because well I am still me. It’s more like I see my life differently now. I feel I was just sleepwalking through life, which is what I think most of do until a wakeup call comes our way.

My life consisted of working full time and spending the weekends at the bars/clubs with people I thought were my friends. Most of the time I would go out get wasted, blackout and wake up in the morning wondering how the hell I got home. I would jump out of bed make sure my car was okay and then thank God I made it home safe and promise that I would never do that again. Well it happened plenty of times and it wasn’t until my luck ran out that I realized just how horrible what I was doing was. I’m not going to lie I knew what I was doing was wrong I just had that mentality of “oh it can never happen to me”.  Well it happened to me I was arrested for drinking & driving.

The 19 months spent dealing with my mistake was one of the hardest times of my life (so far). It was fucking hell having to deal with all the consequences and making sure they all got done right and that every single request on my probation term got completed. However, the worse part of it all was the emotional toll it took on me.

The 1st 3 months of my probation I was a fucking mess. I got so depressed and didn’t want to do a damn thing I seriously thought my life was over (I know a bit dramatic but that’s me). When I wasn’t working or dealing with something that had to do with my probation I would spend countless hours laying in my closet floor listening to Kelly Clarkson’s song “CRY” on repeat. If you know me at all you know I love music & that I am obsessed with Kelly. Well this song is about the ending of a relationship. Here’s a snippet of the lyrics…

Is it over yet?
Can I open my eyes?
Is this as hard as it gets?
Is this what it feels like to really cry?
I’m talking in circles
I’m lying, they know it
Why won’t this just all go away…

That’s how I felt. For me it was the end of a relationship. I just wanted it all to go away I wanted it to be over with. At the time I wasn’t aware that I was breaking up with old Jaime and transforming into new Jaime.

I also remember being an emotional mess a few times… okay who am I kidding A LOT OF TIMES. I’m never gonna forget a few of the times I would just burst out crying for the stupidest things ever. One of them was the time I had problems with the breathalyzer, my car battery died and then I lost my wallet all in the same day. Or the times I cried at work for having to deal with phone calls from my probation officer or attorney. Oh or the time I had to deal with them extending the term of my breathalyzer from 6 months to a year because of a technicality. Also the time the counselor from my drug classes wanted to extend the term of my classes a few weeks just because she wanted too. Gosh I could really go on and on about all the stuff I had to deal with throughout it and the many times I cried.

Dealing with all that I realized that there was more to life than just work and getting drunk on the weekends. I was spending more time with my family and real friends. I was back on the right track going to school and saving to buy a home. Little did I know that is not what I wanted either.

I also felt as if I was stripped away of all my rights. I felt trapped and confined to the 8 pages I signed. If you recall part of the consequences was “Limited travel – must remain within the state of Texas & must request permission to leave”. That is the one that affected me the most because I had just got bit by the travel bug. I would now spend countless hours planning vacations that would never happen. It wasn’t until then that I discovered blogs about backpacking. I had no clue backpacking existed but after reading enough about it I figured I could do it too. Like a kid I wanted something I couldn’t have at the moment so that ignited the key. Travel had always been something I wanted to do but never thought I could. So I focused on getting my probation done successfully and saving for my backpacking adventure.

On October 25, 2010 I went to court for the last time. I got my DWI dismissed and the breathalyzer removed from my vehicle. Looking back I wouldn’t change a single thing, because it has made me who I am today and put me on the path to live my dream. I am more mature and more responsible than ever before. I still plan on drinking on occasions where I am not driving but if I go out to a party or bar/club I will not have a single drink if I am driving. The few times I have been out and not drank I am always asked why not and well I am honest and let them know why. One night of fun with a few drinks or a lot of drinks is not worth putting myself or others at risk or having to go through all this again.

I remember when I first signed the probation terms I told myself as soon as I am done and it is dismissed I am gonna go to New Orleans and party it up on Halloween weekend and celebrate my freedom. Well that didn’t happen instead I was more than ecstatic to buy a backpack for my trip and save the rest of the money for my trip.

I read the local news often and I come across headlines like: Drunk Driver Who Killed Boy Gets prison Sentence or Family mourns father, daughter killed in crash or Drunken driving suspected in fatal La Marque crash. I read the headlines and cringe at 1st glance and then I read the stories and my heart is broken and often time get tears. I think that could have been me and thank God it wasn’t because I know it could have been a lot worse than just running a red light. I can’t believe I used to be so careless and wreck less but what matters is that I learned my lesson.


I recently heard this narrated on one of the shows I watch and felt it resonates so well with my story:

“With every small choice with every small decision we are defining ourselves. Are we honest? Are we faithful? Are we proud of ourselves or are we disappointed by who we have become? Life rarely turns out the way that we plan. The unexpected happens and it surprises us with new and exciting possibilities, but sooner or later reality hits you in the face.”

I never imagined getting a DWI but when it happened I took full responsibility for it and overcame it. It was an unexpected event that has put me on the path to travel the world. I am 100% proud of who I am and of who I have become. I hope this story helps prevent people from drinking & driving and also let people realize that we all make mistakes but it’s what we do after that proves who we are.

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  1. So glad that the mistake has turned out to be a blessing rather than what could have easily been a tragedy.

    Happy you could share this with us Jaime, it takes a lot of courage to put this out there for everyone to read.
    Kieron recently posted..5 reasons we’re joining the gym before traveling

    • Thanks Kieron, I am so thankful it happened and I am where I am today. Im glad I was able to share it too even though this was the hardest post I have ever had to write.

  2. Jaime, have enjoyed getting to know you a bit through this series. Taking ownership of what happened, taking on the consequences, and not quitting when things were most challenging really speaks well of your character — and that you shared your story with us says volumes.

    I had no idea this is what sparked the idea for your big trip and that the probation only ended weeks ago! *So* happy for you for the good that’s come and trust that you’re going to see, taste, and experience amazing things in the months and years to come. Hope I can meet you somewhere along the line! <3
    Heather recently posted..Macaron Day- 67 Birthday Presents

    • Heather, thanks so much for reading them all. Being on probation and not being able to do much really screws with your mind in ways you could never imagine. I would spend countless hours at home doing nothing and when I found the idea of backpacking around the world, well I ran with it and am now gonna make it happen. I hope we can meet someday too, I know we would have a blast!!!

  3. I love your raw honesty Jamie and I’m so glad it happened to you as it has made you a better person. There are so many people who would take what happened and use it as a negative motivator, you used it as a powerful force for positive change. My most inspirational teachers and heros are those who have fought through the depths of their own despair, and reclaimed their lives back as victors not mentors. It takes unbelievable courage to face and overcome your demons– it’s far too easy to run from them or hide them away and that doesn’t bring anyone hope for a better life for themselves.
    I love the quote you have finished with. Life is full of surprises and if you live your life as a victor you can handle them. Each small moment should be shaping your character and allowing you the freedom to look at your face each morning with pride and acceptance.
    Caz Makepeace recently posted..Meet Adam Seper- Last weeks winner of “Post Your URL Day”

    • Caz, thanks for the great comment. I am so glad it happened to me too it turned my life upside down and at 1st I thought I was not gonna be able to handle it. I finally took charge of it and turned this experience to be a positive one in my life.

  4. You are so amazing! The fact that you put yourself out there for everyone to see, flaws included is phenomenal. GOOD FOR YOU.
    Erica recently posted..For Love and Travel

  5. Agree with all the above, you have shared this so well! And now you get to go backpacking Waheey!!

  6. i am impressed at how you handled the situation and you were able to grow from it. i would have handled it much worse than you did

    • Zablon, you would be surprised at how you would handle things when they come your way. I thought the same, when I signed the terms I didnt think I was going to be able to get it all done, but look at me now!!! I am here and stronger than ever.

  7. “My life consisted of working full time and spending the weekends at the bars/clubs with people I thought were my friends.”

    I think a lot of people can relate to going through this phase at one time or another, and I think your story will resonate with them, too (DWI, or not).

    Awesome series, Jaime. The NVR Guys are very proud of you. If we were there, we’d give you the “slow clap” and a standing O.

    BTW – Only you can get away inserting a KC song into your post.
    The NVR Guys recently posted..Passports with Purpose – Build a Village and Enjoy Paradise

    • Kent & Caanan, I think you are so right about people going through that phase cus I see a lot of people still doing just that, that I used to hang out with. I’m so glad I am over it cus honestly had this not happened I think i would still be in that phase.

      Oh & THANK YOU I know I am the ONLY ONE that can get away with inserting a KC song into my post. jajaja~

  8. Monica "Momo" Cantu says:

    Well Jaime like always I love to read these blogs about your experience with your past… at times I feel sad because I wasn’t there to help you through such a though time, but I think you needed to experience all of this alone, hence it made you stronger. I can’t say I can relate to your party days, because I have fun with out alcohol all the time. But by you letting me inside your life all over again makes me wonder why you ever left to begin with… you are one of the strongest and most caring person I have ever encountered. I am glad that you decided to NOT dwell on the past and focus on the future, I know that this whole backpacking trip is something you will never forget, like this DWI experince…. I love you very much Jaime and you know that. Sometimes people leave footprints in people’s life and you sure have in mine. Keep up the good work and here is to many tying shoelaces in the future! 🙂

    • Aww Monica, you made me get tears.

      I have no clue why we ever stopped talking, but am so glad we are back in each others lives. I guess we were young and well not working together anymore. In a way I would have to say I did go through this alone but then I didn’t. Cus yes I went to court, to my PO, to my drug classes etc.. etc.. all alone but at the same time I had my girlfriends by me the entire time. They were my support.

      Going through all this is something I will never forget & its shaped me to be who I am today.

  9. There is not much in the way that I can say that hasn’t already been said. What a raw and heartfelt series this was. Thank you for writing it and allowing us to read it. *big hugs*
    Corey W. recently posted..Auditor Generals Report Part 2

  10. I’ve been following along with these articles. You know you’re very brave for being so honest and out there about these things. Very well done!
    Brendan van Son recently posted..Grime- Graffiti and Glamour in Valparaiso

  11. Jaime, you made me cry a little! This has been such a great story, even though it’s based on a bad event. I’m so glad you decided to share the details with us. I really enjoy talking to you on Twitter, but I really felt like I got to know you a little better by reading these posts. I’m so proud of you for changing your life for the better and not letting this defeat you. It’s made you a much stronger person, and I’m sure a much happier person in the end. I hope our paths cross someday so we can meet in person!
    Ali recently posted..To Opt Out Or Not To Opt Out

    • Ali, Im sorry I made you cry a lil. That is not what I was going for but I am happy it touched someone that way. Yeah I felt I needed to share this because it has alot to do with who I am now and everything I am planning on doing. I want to make sure to always be 100% on my blog & well this is one of them. I hope our paths cross someday too. I know they will because if they don’t we are gonna make it happen. You are too awesome to not meet ;)~

  12. “Lo que no te mata, te hace más fuerte”

  13. I’m so impressed that you were able to take a negative thing that could have completely changed your life for the worse and worked through to make yourself a better person. Thanks for sharing what happened through this series!

  14. Right on Jaime. Glad that you took a negative event and turned it into positive. You know that I have a similar story… very hard event, but now I’m on the path I’m supposed to be on. Without that heartbreaking event, I wouldn’t be here so I gotta be thankful for what happened! I really can’t explain in words how thankful I am for those hard months. Living life to the fullest, like it was meant to be lived.
    Jenny recently posted..27 Ways to Kick Fear’s ASS!

    • Jenny, I am so glad we met and are now helping each other breakaway. Its like we have such diff stories yet very similar and we are able to relate to each other and help each other through it all. We have to weather the storm to get to the sunshine and rainbow at the end.

  15. QueenBrain12 says:

    AH, that girl Kelly has gotten us through some tough times! You were a hot mess with your roller coaster of emotions, but I’m proud that you overcame this situation. I know your new found outlook to life will bring you much more happiness and satisfaction. Now, I just need a wake up call!


    • Brain, KELLY has got us through so much its unbelievable. I don’t know what we would do w/o her music seriously. Thanks for the kind words but don’t wait for a wake up call take action now and grab life by the horns and control it.

      I know I have told you a million times but THANK YOU so much for putting up with me those 19 months. Out of everyone I think you got the brunt of the storm. Im never going to forget all the support and love and friendship you gave me through out it all.

      I love you,

  16. Thanks for sharing this, Jaime. I partied a lot when I was younger and looking back I feel that most of it was really empty and I’m damn lucky that I didn’t do any serious harm to myself or anyone else. I have also lost someone very close to me in a drunk driving related car crash. Some people don’t learn after one mistake – but you did and have and that’s to be commended as others here have said. Life is a constant progression, with each little event forming us into who we are. Everyone makes mistakes (it is the essence of being human) – the important thing is that you learned and grew from yours and it has made you a better person. This is such a brave and inspiring post – well done…Look forward to hearing more about your adventures in this big, beautiful world!

    • Andrea, I am sorry to hear about your loose. I like the word you used “empty” looking back it was “empty” fun. I didn’t think of it like that then but I do now. I am glad that I have been able to turn this into something I will never be ashamed of because we are human and we all make mistakes and the best ones are the ones we can learn from and this is one!

  17. You should be proud of yourself Jaime. It takes a lot to own up, take responsibility and learn from your mistakes. It’s important to share these stories to help guide those who can benefit from your experience. Good job!!

    • Gillian, its weird how I didn’t think twice about sharing this or not. I feel its so much of who I am now and think it should be shared. I can hope that someone can benefit from my experience.

  18. Wow Jaime, you are so honest and gracious about what you went through. I think it’s a gift, both for you to have learned from and others to hear your story. It really lingered, having that breathalyser only removed last month…and the fact it didn’t take you years afterward to come around, but you saw the meaning in what you learned immediately. That takes a lot of character. You should be very proud of your resilience to get through it all and come out the other end a better person. Three cheers! Hurrah!!

    • Thank you for the comment! I am also very glad I learned from my mistake early on and during my probation term. It has helped me alot get to where I want to get.

      Three cheers to ya too~

  19. Hey Jamie, you’re really honest and open about what you were going through and I’m glad you find what path you want to take later on. I know backpacking will be so fun and great experience to have. I can’t wait to hear about your future adventure for your rtw trip. Best!
    Sarah Wu recently posted..Photos- A Glimpse of Hollywood- The Entertainment Capital

    • Thanks Sarah, Im glad as well and I can only hope that my backpacking trip will be fn and a great adventure!!! Ill be sure to be posting all my crazy stories here~

  20. Wow! i just read thru this whole series. I really felt like i was in that horrible jail cell with you. I’m really sorry you had to go through all of that – it sounds like a horrible nightmare. I’m so excited for you that you were able to turn this negative into a positive. Most people would not be able to do that. Good for you for getting through a nasty ordeal and coming out the other side smarter & stronger. I always think things like this are a blessing in disguise, it just usually sucks in the meantime!
    bethany recently posted..Iceland – Photo Essay on TravelSquirecom

    • Thanks Bethany for reading the whole series. Ahh it was a horrible experience but it was one that I learned so much from. I am glad I was able to learn from this and move on to bigger and better things. It really was a blessing in disguise.

  21. I don’t know that I have that much to add based on everyone’s comments, except that I too am glad that you were able to learn from what you went through. You have come out with a positive view of what’s in store for you next and are moving on to happier times. I’m so excited for you to start your travels 🙂

  22. Those valuable lessons come with a price at life. I’m happy for you as I know how great you feel now: mature and experienced! Congratulations!

    I used to smoke like a chimney and guess what! i used to do that while walking in front of the entire group who were following me to the sites i was guiding them. Yes, I’m a tour guide and used to smoke a lot while traveling with my fellow travelers!!! I don’t believe it’s me. Maybe the new ME is what makes the difference.

    I’ve quitted smoking since 5-6 years ago. Now, I hate the smell of cigarettes so much that I don’t get into a cab whose driver is a smoker, etc. I feel ashamed of what i used to do, but now the new ME doesn’t do it. I didn’t have to pay any price for it, or at least nothing that I’m aware of!! Do you believe it man that I’m a vegetarian, almost sportsman, and healthy character?

    Rahman Mehraby
    Destination Iran Travel & Tours
    Iran Travel Guide recently posted..Goal Setting for Iran Tourism Services in 2011

    • Thanks Rahman for stopping by. Congratulations on quitting smoking. So many people say they will stop one day and never do. That is an awesome and big accomplishment. The way I see it is that “we live & we learn”. Sometimes we do pay a price for our mistakes and sometimes we dont. In the end all that matters is if we learned from it and it looks like we both have!!!

      I am bookmarking your website, I plan on visiting the Middle East on my RTW trip and hmmm maybe I can go to Iran.

  23. Inspiring… I’m glad that it was only running the red light. I’m glad that you changed because of that. There are many people out there that don’t change, even when their action is more fatal than yours.
    Dina recently posted..How well traveled are you in your home country

    • I am glad it was just running the red light and that I was able to learn from this and turn it into a positive thing. Thanks Dina for taking the time to read the entire series of post.

  24. Wow, thanks for sharing such an intimate story. I can totally relate to you. Last year, I did a little evaluation of my friendships and interactions and I noticed that I needed to clean house. I didn’t really like that most of my friends were more interested in partying and starting drama then their career paths or life goals. It takes a very strong person to breakaway and become someone new, and you have totally reaffirmed my convictions for me.

    Sending you good vibes!!! and Happy Travels!

    xo! Toni
    Toni recently posted..Galicia, Spain

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thank you very much Toni for the kind words. I am glad this post was able to help you a bit. I understand what you mean. It is hard to breakaway but it is possible in the end we only live once and we have to make sure we are happy no matter what it its we are doing.

  25. David Siura says:

    Jaime, that’s life! I experienced a lot too!
    U know what I’m doing now? I’m in the progress of finishing my book, just wanna try to give a little inspiration to the world – my life must be useful for others..
    Don’t worry about anything, just believe good things will always happen to good people as long as u believe in it!! 😉

  26. the people in the system are sometimes out to maximize collateral injury [legal sense] to you, it often really is unfair. they are the kind who haven’t seen much of the world and don’t realize how out of proportion this is. i’m sure you [or pretty much anyone] would have changed their attitude regardless whether or not those extra punishment were imposed upon you.

    i am amazed how you managed to retain your licence, there are people who get disqualified for 24 months [have to retake driving test, deal with evil neurotic testers…], and get sentenced to 150hr community service, + criminal record +24 mths good behavior bond, for something of lesser magnitude.

    by the way what BAC did you register?

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Attroo, I got very lucky. I don’t believe in LUCK, but this was pure luck. I know it could have been so much worse for me, but so thankful it all happened the way it did. I don’t know my BAC because I didn’t blow. I didn’t want to blow because I know it would have been like 2 or 3 times over the limit.

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