There are the straight edge folk and then there are the hardcore lushes, but therein lies the category of people who only drink when a special occasion not only calls, but screams. These are the people we call amateurs.
Their alcohol tolerance goes down all year until they take a couple swigs of whiskey, and then they go down, too. They’re almost like the people who attend church only on Christmas. On holidays like New Year’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day, many people drop before the ball in Times Square or end up looking green for reasons other than festive makeup.
“Those holidays have both devolved into drinking,” said sophomore history major Corey Goldiner. “Fireworks and hats on New Year’s are more subordinate to drinking than the other way around.”
We’ve all seen it: the resurrected drunk with a license to binge-drink because
of the calendar date, able to consume
no more than a 100-pound girl, winds up hugging the toilet and/or having sex that is usually regretted, if not forgotten.
But that is far from the worst case scenario.
Many people, unaware of their lightweight status and incoherence, try to get behind the wheel and Jeff Gordon-it on out of the bar, pub, party, hotel . . . or rooftop.
“I don’t think there is much doubt that we see more drivers, more drinkers and more drunken drivers as a result on holidays,” said Andrew Knoll, a journalism graduate student. Temple’s Campus Safety Service, meanwhile, celebrate the holiday just like any ordinary Saturday.
“[It’s the] same as any other night as far as drinking and driving are concerned; it’s not a good practice. You should have a designated driver, make sure you don’t leave any of your friends behind,” said Capt. Eileen Bradley of Campus Safety Service.
“If you go out, make sure you designate
someone to drive; that’s the most important thing.”
Sometimes, the solution for this stupidity lies with those who drink alcohol for breakfast and know better than to drive under the influence. So how do the experts (sometimes known as alcoholics) go about taking the keys from those less competent of common sense? And how do the amateurs have a traditional drunk time without compromising anyone’s safety?
There is always the option of presenting
a catalyst for someone to pass out, like bludgeoning them with a large object. But since the focus is how to keep people out of harms way, that just won’t suffice.
To decrease the chance of smashing
your face on the floor, eat before you start pounding the liquor, and the liquor will be more or less absorbed in a timelier fashion. Hydrate your body by something other than the happy juice; it’s usually good to have one non-alcoholic drink for every alcoholic drink consumed.
Clearly, the ideal method is to avoid driving altogether. It saves you money on the pricey gasoline and the chances of waking up under bright lights in an unflattering hospital gown go down substantially. According to a 2002 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, 656 – or 41 percent – of Pennsylvania’s 1614 traffic deaths were alcohol related.
If it is imperative for you to get home, call a cab or drive with your ‘designated
Dave.’ If you’re burdened with the obnoxious friend who is convinced that they can hightail it out of your presence in his or her whip, it would be ideal to snag the drunk’s keys in advance, while they’re still conscious.
Confiscation may make someone feel a bit juvenile, but it trumps a DUI and a disgusting, new insurance rate.
Research shows that the chances of being in a car accident increase by 23 percent when alcohol is involved and alcohol-
related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 31 minutes. Friends don’t let friends act fatally stupid. “Just take it easy,” Knoll said.
“Americans all think they are overworked,
but I’ve never seen another group of people as eager to rush through vacations and plan things down to the second. “Enjoy yourself, take your time, stay over night … [That’s] more fun than a car wreck or an arrest,” he continued.
So on St. Patrick’s Day, as much as the green beverage may beckon you to drink until you can’t feel feelings anymore.
It’s not always that bad to drink responsibly and live to tell everyone else’s embarrassing story. It’s up to you; check-points and interventions won’t always pave the way for you or your friends.
Jessica Bautista can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.