By William Brand
Thursday, January 1st, 2009 at 4:28 pm in Uncategorized.
My post yesterday about how much alcohol it takes to be legally under the influence in California (and other states where you are intoxicated if you blow a 0.08), brought an interesting comment:
- what can you say/do…we live in a polce state…seat belt laws…helmet laws…cell phone laws..the list is long..luckily i have a designated most of the time..
My comment: I know we seem to be deluged with rules and it sucks – well, it certainly messes with my lifestyle.
However, looking at it from the other side — I know this is a big :”yes but” — but in my early days, I was a crime reporter at a small newspaper in rural Nebraska and I also took crime scene and accident photos for the local district attorney and sheriff’s office. During those four years I got to see the effects of alcohol on driving first-hand. It was — well, it was sobering. So I understand the push toward lower alcohol limits.
The American problem – our problem – is the way we live sucks. I mean we’re totally auto-oriented. Most of us live in places where mass transit doesn’t exist or is sucky.
For instance, I live three miles from the closest BART station; there’s only bus service 9-5 weekdays and it’s five blocks to the damn bus stop. So I drive, usually to BART. Coming home, I don’t get back in the car ’til I’m certain I’m sober. It’s a hell of a way to live.
In fact, it changes where I go. I hate visiting friends where we’re going to drink good beer, but the only way to get there is driving. I envy my friends who live in San Francisco, Oakland and other cities, where a trip to the pub is a short walk.
For the rest of us, the whole system is loaded against us. We love good beer, but the laws are tough and cops are relentless. What to do? Drinking at homne is one solution, but nothing beats the warmth and friendship of a good pub. It’s a dilemma, isn’t it. One thing we need is better transit. Comments anyone?