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Old 21st Mar 2011, 16:41
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chuks
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 72
Posts: 1,561
Oh, back when I was young and stupid...

I think the safest way to do this is to treat it as we do aviation, with no drinking before driving, just the residual level of BAC. (We all have a tiny amount of alcohol in our blood, even when we haven't had a drop to drink.)

For me it comes down to the very basic fact that one cannot judge the boundary between "I had just a drink or two, Officer," and impairment.

I think most cops hear "Uhh, just two beers!" or, "One glass of sherry," as the answer to the usual question, "Have you been drinking?" when your car was probably pulled over for reasons obvious to him but unknown to you!

You might walk into the pub planning to have "just the one," and end up over the limit without noticing that. It happens all the time, in fact, since the same effect that puts you over the limit prevents you from noticing that fact.

The last one that really caught my attention was the head of the German Lutheran church being busted for drink-driving in broad daylight, when a major career hiccup ensued; everyone had to ask, "What in the world was she thinking, there?"

Then there had been a fatal one-car crash by a notorious Austrian far-right politician. He died in the wee hours of the morning in a luxury car with a data-logging engine chip. The chip showed he was out there on a mountain road, in fog, doing about 80 mph, and the post-mortem showed that his BAC was well over the limit. Now, the man was some sort of obvious loon to begin with, but I doubt that he would have done all that cold sober.

These aren't people who set out to either ruin or kill themselves, but it all started with the innocent intent to "just have the one." The only safe option is to have none, I think; either do thar or else just suck it up and pay for a taxi ride home. You could afford the price of the drink so that you should be able to afford the price of the taxi. If you are in a group then the "short straw" gets to be the designated driver, when it can be sort of fun to watch your friends all get ratted.
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