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!