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October 29, 2008

'Please, drink responsibly'


Am I the only person on the planet who finds the three words in the headline up top, increasingly often the tag line for beer commercials on TV, somewhat inappropriate — at best?

I mean, here you are trying to get someone to alter their consciousness in a way that cannot but hurt others if things go south, while at the same time expecting them to act is if they had no blood alcohol level at all and are thus fully able to do the right thing.

Disingenuous is a better word.

You can't have it both ways: you want people to drink, then don't expect them to monitor themselves when what they're drinking gradually obliterates their judgement.

The whole point of drinking is to lose the constant background noise that accompanies being responsible.

Responsible drinking is an oxymoron unless you're staying home.

Note: Just in after the post above appeared, this pithy observation from clifyt (who oughta know): "That's bulls**t — you can be irresponsible while you are at home too."

Thank you for that.

October 29, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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Dan is right.. (is he ever wrong?) That's the way most of these special instrest groups work. You give us money, and we'll shut up.

That being said, I have a one-drink rule when I'm driving.

Posted by: Rocketboy | Nov 3, 2008 7:18:11 AM

Converting my criticism of sober drivers to an advocacy of intoxicated drivers is illogical.

There are many ways to be irresponsible. Focussing on one will not solve the problem of crashing. Driving too fast is socially acceptable, is facilitated by radar detectors and there is no Mothers Against Speeding Drivers. Despite the fact that this intentional, irresponsible behaviour results in killing as many people as are killed by intoxicated drivers, the legal consequences of speeding are far less than that for intoxication. This social decision is a result of opinions about drinking and not a rational analysis about how to solve a problem. MADD has had positive effects but my guess is that there is little more that can be gained from this approach. If it were up to me, a person convicted of crashing would lose their license, their vehicle, and restitutionn would be paid from assets rather then insurance. The reasons for why the driver failed would not change the penalty. How to drive well would be a matter for research and education but not legislation. Legislation would set the standards for performance and the consequences of failure.

Posted by: Lem | Nov 2, 2008 5:38:46 PM

The "please drink responsibly" thing is surprisingly nuanced.

Essentially, it's lawsuit repellent, used by the breweries to give them some protection from the neo-prohibitionists who want to ban alcohol again, on account of how well that worked out last time (and, of course, how well the current War On Some Drugs has been going).

The US group Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), for instance, is now a hardcore wall-to-wall prohibitionist outfit. Its original leaders have all left in disgust and there's nothing left at the top but puritans.

(Apparently, the way the distilleries keep MADD off their backs is by acting the useful idiot and just donating lots of money to them! This is, from the distilleries' point of view, kind of like giving money to terrorists so they won't set of any bombs this week and can afford bigger ones later. But that too seems to be a popular American pastime these days.)

Here's a little more about this.

Posted by: Daniel Rutter | Nov 1, 2008 10:51:23 PM

Wow! It is the return of the pro-drinking and driving Lem! Is he a troll across the internet or what? Anytime something about drinking responsibility comes up, he shows up and proves how unintelligent he really is.

Sober people are what? 99% of the population at any given point? So the remaining 1% of the population that is irresponsible is responsible for approximately 1/3rd of all deaths. Even with the made up statistics, it would show that there is significant reason to believe that they are far more to cause than others.

You make me and the rest of the professional drinking squad sickened. Please choose another vice...we don't want your kind here.

Posted by: clifyt | Nov 1, 2008 6:54:18 PM

In the U.S., sober drivers kill twice as many people as intoxicated drivers kill. You should be opposed to all parking lots.

Deciding what the whole point of drinking is, or concluding that designated drivers don't exist, demonstrate that sobriety doesn't necessarily lead to good thinking.

Posted by: Lem | Nov 1, 2008 2:46:36 PM

Just like it's safe to assume that someone's going to eat a whole box of twinkies, or a whole club size bag of Cheetos?

Posted by: Rocketboy | Oct 31, 2008 9:26:44 PM

Seems a little disingenuous for bars & nightclubs to build large parking lots and yet driving while under the influence of alcohol is illegal. Isn't it fairly reasonable to assume that nearly every patron of said establishments will be driving (or be driven) home by someone who has consumed some amount of booze? Alcohol-abstaining "designated drivers" don't often exist in the real world.

Posted by: Rob O. | Oct 31, 2008 12:27:04 PM

That's my M.O. when drinking. Responsible when i'm out and about, and passed out on the floor at home.

Posted by: Rocketboy | Oct 30, 2008 7:20:56 AM

"Responsible drinking is an oxymoron unless you're staying home."'

Tahts busllit. you can BE irresonsible while yoou are at hoem too,

Posted by: the marsupial | Oct 29, 2008 3:22:53 PM

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