Melissa Carter

Melissa Carter: Giving back and risking jail time

It has been awhile since I’ve been in a car accident, but it’s what was in my backseat at the time that almost landed me in jail.

We recently had a silent auction at work to raise money for a local charity (yes, I am still at Cox Media Group working behind the scenes until my contract is up in August). Tables were erected around the office with random items either donated by a colleague or left behind by listeners or former employees. One such sales manager had just left the department, and a box of random crap he decided not to take from his office was up for grabs. The collection included several things like a classic Hawks hat, a nice binder and a bottle of Tanqueray. Thinking it was funny, and a clever way of clearing out his office, I ended up being the winning bidder, paid my money, put the box in my car and forgot all about it.

A few days passed. I picked up my son and was in traffic on 285 in Sandy Springs when I decided to get off at the Glenridge exit. That is when another car started pulling out of the traffic too and all I could see was the back of the driver’s head, meaning he was not looking in my direction and didn’t see me coming in the exit lane. With only seconds to think, knowing we were going to collide and not wanting to hurt or startle my son, I chose to honk, try and make my way around him and put me as the front line of impact. The other car then T-boned me on the driver’s side.

Fortunately it was a low-speed impact, my air bag didn’t go off and my son was un-phased by the jolt, which of course is the most important detail of all this. I called my baby mama, Katie Jo, to let her know he had been in an accident but was OK, and she chose to come check on us and see his condition for herself. Once she saw all was well, she relaxed and we were making jokes about something when her face went stone cold and she stared at me.

“What?” I asked her.

She responded, ”Is that an open container?”

The box from the silent auction was in my back seat, and that is when I realized the bottle of gin had been used and was only half-full. I never paid attention to it and the fact it was an open container, all while cops are all around checking out the accident. I quickly covered the bottle with the Hawks hat before an officer came back to check on me. He must have missed it when he first took my info, distracted by the damage and making sure Mr. Carter was OK.

Then Katie Jo had the nerve to ask, “Have you really had something to drink?”

“Lord, no.”

So much for giving back to my community.