Drinking & Driving: Please Do Your Part This Weekend and all Summer Long

Memorial Day weekend is finally upon us and my thoughts are turning to lagers, pilsners and stouts (let’s face it, I’m a creature of habit!).  But my thoughts have also been lingering on a more serious subject – drinking and driving. Now before you roll your eyes, let me assure you this will be quick, painless and might actually help us all do some good.

Over the past year, our little site has really grown up.  Traffic is up tenfold, and we’ve been blessed with a loyal and vocal readership of tremendously cool people.  Our voice has grown louder and into a chorus of sorts, with people from all over the country adding their knowledge and humor to the site (and god knows we’ve needed the help!).  I’d like to try and put that to good use. 

Like Don and I, many of you are older, wiser and know how to handle yourselves.  Your days of even considering getting behind the wheel while a little buzzed (or worse) are behind you.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference this weekend and all summer long.

Please take these tips to heart and share them with your friends:

Have a Plan. Know how you’re going to get home safely before you crack open that first mouth-wateringly delicious IPA.  This might mean having a designated driver you trust, making plans to crash at the party site or even walking to your destination instead of taking the car.  For you married fellas, the best option is to get your wife pregnant so you have a rock-solid way of getting home.  Plus seventeen years down the road, you’ll have someone else to come collect you at the bar.

Pace yourself, big fella.  It’s okay to have a beer or two and get behind the wheel as long as you’re not slamming down the brewskis.  My rule of thumb is one beer every two hours, with lots of water in between.  I know this is pretty conservative, but it’s also a very smart way to approach things.  Another tip is to drink seltzer or sparkling water, which can give you the sensation of drinking a beer, just without the flavor.  Kind of like Coors Light. 🙂

Keep an eye on the other guy. Even if you’re being good, it doesn’t mean you can’t do more to help others.  Watch out for people who’ve had too much fun and are planning to get behind the wheel.  Offer to drive them home or call them a cab.  Know who’s driving and suggest they take it easy if they’re overdoing it.  I’ve looked the other way here in the past, mostly because it’s very uncomfortable getting into someone else’s business. It’s a lot easier to ignore the situation, let the person do what they will and hope everything works out.  But what if it doesn’t?  You don’t have to be all preachy about it, but just saying something might make a difference in that moment or in the future.  Man up, buttercup!

Again, most of us don’t need this advice, but I figured it’s a good time for a refresher on doing the right thing, especially as BBQ season begins. Please pass this around as a passive-aggressive way of reminding the folks you care about that part of being old enough to drink is being old enough to do it well.

Alright, ‘m getting a bit dizzy up here on my soapbox, so I’m climbing down.  I hope everyone has an awesome (and safe) holiday weekend!




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Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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17 Comments on “Drinking & Driving: Please Do Your Part This Weekend and all Summer Long”

  1. Don
    May 27, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Sage advice Jim. It was really cool, during Chimay Day last weekend, everyone had an exit strategy. One guy got a ride from a friend, a few guys had their wives pick them up and drop them off, Still others either took it easy or let themselves wind down before leaving. Its a good thing to have a back up plan. The guy I was with said that in the past he has had to call for “an Extraction” as he calls it, and his daughter comes down and picks him up. Sometimes figuring this out can be half the challenge and add to your evening’s entertainment. Be safe!

  2. May 27, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    Always worth the little reminder. Drunk driving accidents are the easiest to prevent if people just keep their brains engaged and those tips can be a big help.

    Have a nice Memorial Day everyone!

  3. May 27, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Great advice guys. Drink well and be safe.


  4. Cam
    May 27, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Don’t forget another easy solution – taking public transit to/from your destination, if you’re in a highly populated area.

    Happy Memorial Day!

    • Don
      May 27, 2011 at 11:04 am #

      Yes Cam, just don’t act like a douche, or you’re likely to get pinched for Public Intox.

      • Cam
        May 27, 2011 at 11:09 am #

        Indeed, I’ve seen it many times on the bus. Hilarious to watch sometimes.

    • May 27, 2011 at 11:18 am #

      I was just about to recommend the same thing. I know a lot of people are adverse to public transit, but if you’re a little tipsy, why should you care that you’re on a bus (or subway, or light rail, etc.)? It’s a given that we’ll take public transit, walk, or take a cab whenever we come downtown for any event involving beer.

      Thankfully, many beer festivals are recognizing this and are offering specials for the designated drivers. Blues and Brews, a festival here in Denver offers a discounted entry fee with proof of riding public transit to the event.

  5. May 27, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    I’ve got a tip for staying sober- try drinking at Busch Stadium, where beers are $8.50 a pop. It’ll sober your ass up real fast.

  6. May 27, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Really glad to see this post on a beer blog. Having a plan is great advice. Most people that drink and drive don’t intend to, they just get themselves into the situation by poor judgement. Well I say most people, probably not this asshat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vl_QNa-bCKc

  7. May 27, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Good advice. I think the pacing and mixing in water is a good strategy when a ride from someone else is not an option. I like to drink at least one glass of water for every beer. Water slows you down, fills you up, and increases your trips to the restroom. Also, eating can not just fill you up, but the additional food can help soak up some of the alcohol.

    I once went out without a plan. As I stumbled to my car, I knew good and well I could not make it home safely. So, I decided to camp out in my car. The police in our town aren’t too keen on this, but realizing I’m a middle-class white guy in a Prius, they called me a cab instead. The driver was shocked at how coherent I was as the police usually sent him dudes that were completely smashed. I took a much-needed run in the morning to retrieve my car.

  8. May 27, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    Great advice… luckily we always have a couple of DDs…

  9. May 27, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    The “get your wife pregnant” strategy is hilarious! Probably not the cheapest option, however.

    • Don
      May 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

      I like how Jim just looks on the bright side that in 17 years you will have yet another designated driver to help you out in a pinch!

  10. Jeff W
    May 27, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    When I was younger and planned less (if at all) I’d occasionally call for a tow from the bar. It was a little pricey but not so much more than a taxi home and back to the bar the next morning, and far less expensive than a DUI and possibly killing someone.

    It also had the added benefit of confusing and worrying my snooty neighbors. 🙂

    • Don
      May 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

      Another option would be to drive your RV to the bar. I have an uncle that owned a boat, and he would sometimes motor over to the Yacht Club have a few then sleep it off on the boat before making his way back home. Ther must be a million ways to avoid a DUI! 🙂

      • Jeff W
        May 27, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

        My wife suggested NOT DRINKING…


        She’s hilarious!

        • Don
          May 31, 2011 at 9:07 am #

          What was she thinking? It was obviously a joke! Just buy her a margarita, she’ll come round.

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