Barry Watson wondered why the traffic was slowing, until he saw the random breath testing unit up ahead. As he hadn’t had a drink since the previous afternoon, Barry wasn’t concerned when the policeman directing traffic waved them into the line for testing.
Barry thought he must be the last unlucky driver being pulled over for testing, when he noticed the policeman, who had directed him into the line, moving the orange cones to close off the lane in which he was parked. Barry watched as police officers asked the drivers of the five vehicles in front of him to blow into breath testing devices, before allowing them to continue with their journey, and wondered whether he should wake up Malcolm, who had fallen asleep almost as soon as they had started the journey home.
Two policemen walked towards him. Barry lowered the window so he could blow into the testing device.
‘Good afternoon, sir. Just blow until I ask you to stop,’ said the policeman, as he handed Barry a breath tester.
Barry blew until he was asked to stop. The policeman looked at the reading.
‘Can I see your driver’s licence, sir?’
Barry fished his driver’s licence out of his wallet, and handed it to the policeman.
‘What’s going on?’ said Malcolm, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
‘Booze bus,’ said Barry.
Malcolm looked around briefly and then closed his eyes.
The policeman with Barry’s licence took a few steps away from their vehicle, towards the random breath testing van parked on the side of the road, and said something into the radio clipped to his shirt. Barry looked at the second officer standing next to the door of his van.
‘What’s he doing? I can’t be over the limit. I haven’t had a drink since yesterday afternoon.’
‘We’re doing random registration checks, mate. He shouldn’t be long,’ said the policeman.
The policeman who had taken Barry’s licence came back to the van.
‘Mr Watson, turn off the engine and step out of the vehicle.’
Barry hesitated, not sure what was happening.
The policeman reached in through the open window and turned off the engine. ‘Out of the van, now!’
Barry looked up. There were four police officers now. One had a pistol trained on him. One of the others was directing Malcolm to get out of the van. Barry opened the door and got out of the van, and put his hands in the air like he’d seen people do on TV.
‘Face the vehicle, put your hands on your head, spread your legs.’
Barry did as he was told.
One of the policemen patted him down, and then pulled his arms behind his back and handcuffed him.
‘Barry Watson, I’m arresting you on suspicion of murder.’
‘What are you talking about? I haven’t killed anyone.’
‘Read him his rights.’
It wasn’t until he’d been bundled into the back of a police car that Barry realised Malcolm had also been arrested, and locked in the back of another police car.
to be continued…