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What are your personal "rules" about drinking and driving?

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Here, if you register as having had anything at all - even below the limit - or if they ask and you say, "well, I had a glass of wine with dinner a couple hours ago..." then they have the option to throw you in jail for the night. I know a couple of people that this has happened to. Neither were convicted or even accused of DUI, but they had to spend the night in jail, one because he just answered in the affirmative that he'd had a beer earlier in the evening. So I do get a bit nervous about driving even hours after a drink here. But I do it anyway. I mean, I trust myself (and math and science) that one little (by which I mean how much a restaurant gives you!) glass of wine is okay 2-3 or more hours later assuming I ate.

 

I see people saying how everyone is different with alcohol... I do always feel that's true. I get tipsy super fast, but then it wears off pretty quickly too if I don't have another glass, which I usually don't. We have a rule against keeping alcohol in the house and drinking out is expensive!

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Here, if you register as having had anything at all - even below the limit - or if they ask and you say, "well, I had a glass of wine with dinner a couple hours ago..." then they have the option to throw you in jail for the night. I know a couple of people that this has happened to. Neither were convicted or even accused of DUI, but they had to spend the night in jail, one because he just answered in the affirmative that he'd had a beer earlier in the evening. So I do get a bit nervous about driving even hours after a drink here. But I do it anyway. I mean, I trust myself (and math and science) that one little (by which I mean how much a restaurant gives you!) glass of wine is okay 2-3 or more hours later assuming I ate.

 

I see people saying how everyone is different with alcohol... I do always feel that's true. I get tipsy super fast, but then it wears off pretty quickly too if I don't have another glass, which I usually don't. We have a rule against keeping alcohol in the house and drinking out is expensive!

 

Whoa....I would not enjoy that.

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Although do people really spend 2-3 hours at a restaurant?  That's the thing...we don't ever sit there that long.  Maybe a place that had shows or something. 

 

 

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yeah, but if I had 5 standard drinks over 5 hours the calculator I posted says I'd be 0.128 and I'd need an additional 8 hours to go back to zero.  

 

Totally agree with you about the size of drinks. And the really sweet mixed drinks which don't taste boozy at all seem easy to over coonsume. 

 

 

Seriously. Which is also why DH is always the one to drive after we wait an hour. He has beer and I usually get a sweet mixed drink and it can be iffy just how much alcohol was put in. Sometimes I feel fine after and sometimes it feels like I've had 2 or 3, not 1. 

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Although do people really spend 2-3 hours at a restaurant?  That's the thing...we don't ever sit there that long.  Maybe a place that had shows or something. 

 

 

Agreed!  Good idea for a spin off!!

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I have had this conversation with my 19 year old daughter many times. Do not get in car with someone who has been drinking. Call me, call a friend, take an Uber.

 

Twice at college when out with friends the designated driver said they would not be drinking. Very proud of them.

 

My daughter does not drink or drive (yet, though I am like a drill sergeant about not drinking and I appear to have gotten my message through to her)

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I don't drive after any drinking (though 3-4 hours is enough time for a drink to wear off even for me), but 1 drink doesn't affect dh who is considerably bigger than me. I have no problem at all with him having 1 drink and then driving just 1-2 hours later. As a general rule for people I know less well? I wouldn't want to drive with someone who may still be under the influence--more than 1 drink that evening, drinking just one drink but more recently than 1.5 hours or so ago, etc.

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I see people do this frequently. Arrive, have a Mike's. Then a glass of wine. Then dinner is served, another 2 glasses of wine during the meal. Then a liqueur or another Mike's.  It seems like a lot but when I watch people do it & it seems a lot when I type it out but I see people do this & it's obv their norm, kwim? 

 

 

 

That is some serious drinking.

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Personally, I don't drink. I don't find alcoholic beverages to be particularly appetizing, indeed, all I really like to drink is water!

 

But I also don't drive, so... yeah. If I were to drink, I definitely wouldn't drive after, because I have no idea how much alcohol I can have before I'm dangerous on the road. (Well, more than I already am being that I don't know how to drive, but you know what I mean.)

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DH and I killed a bottle of tequila tonight! This is noteworthy since we started this particular bottle a couple years ago. I'm a lightweight, so if I'm driving myself to a moms' night, I have my one drink when I hit the door. I'm fine when I leave 3-4 hours later. DH is more than twice my weight, so he can drink a little more. I LIKE wine and mixed drinks, but I only get around to having one about once a month.

 

We're teasing our 19-year-old about being our designated driver.

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Having a drink and driving three or four hours later wouldn't phase me. I wish I could have one drink and still be tipsy after four hours. My occasional nights out with my friends would be a lot cheaper that way.  :lol:

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Even at 120 pounds, and using the calculator provided, if I have a drink with dinner, I have a BAC of .039. An hour after finishing the drink, my BAC would be .024. I drink a drink most evenings (and hardly ever go out at night). I would be well below the legal limit an hour after a drink, at .024. Being below the legal limit, though, doesn't mean one's reflexes/judgment etc aren't reduced. If there were any other issues (tired, eyes dried from wearing contacts all day) that would need to be considered. But I have driven an hour or so after one drink and think doing so is fine for me.

 

However, if I had a drink and another drink an hour later, an hour after the second drink I would have a blood alcohol of .048. That is well below our legal limit, but I actually would not do that. Maybe it's because alcohol can make one sleepy, but I don't feel like driving for me would be safe enough to make that choice, legal or not.

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I think having one drink then waiting 3-4 hours before driving is perfectly safe! Even if that drink were stretched out over the 3-4 hours it would be fine, unless the drinker had a medical condition or something.

 

DH and I agree with the one drink at the beginning of the night plan. Exception though, when we lived pretty far out on a long windy road, with lots of drop offs and bad accidents on a regular basis.  During that time, DH would not even have one drink if he was driving.  Just wasn't worth any risk. 

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I see people do this frequently. Arrive, have a Mike's. Then a glass of wine. Then dinner is served, another 2 glasses of wine during the meal. Then a liqueur or another Mike's.  It seems like a lot but when I watch people do it & it seems a lot when I type it out but I see people do this & it's obv their norm, kwim? 

 

 

 

Good lord, I'd be puking in the bushes.  I've never been around anyone who drank that much.

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I have a personal rule of zero booze for me and driving within about 24 hours.  Why?  

 

1) I'm a not-confident/strong driver in the best of circumstances. If anything ever happens, I don't want to wonder what if I didn't drink.....

 

2) drinking and driving (like heavy drinking) was socially acceptable where we came from.  There were a lot of accidents, a lot of unneeded injury/death.  I see it as a waste.

 

For "family" rules, DH/I feel that 1-2 drinks over several hours, for an experienced driver, is ok.  Otherwise, we don't get in the car, we don't let our kids in the car.  We are really open about our anti-drinking/driving policy.  Friends know we would MUCH rather just host them overnight than worry about how they get home safely.  Some will take us up on that (which feels odd in our 30s, but we are really happy to host).  

 

 

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I don't think it is ever a good idea to have a relatively young driver (assuming the guy is about the age of your daughter) and new drinker (again assuming the guy is around 21 and that legal drinking age in your area is 21) to make a judgement call about how much alcohol they can handle and still drive.  At that age and experience level their needs to be a hard and fast rule about no drinking and driving.  Its too dangerous to make this a gray area at that age.  No matter how responsible he is he can't control the effect the alcohol has on him.  I also wouldn't want to put my dd in the position of having to monitor what he drinks, telling him he can't have another drink and it becoming an issue. There are other ways to get home, its not worth the risk IMO.

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No drinking at all, period, if you will be driving?

No drinking unless you will not be driving for 3-5 hours after the drink?

Only one drink (or other number), no real time constraints?

Other?

 

I'm texting back and forth with our newly 21yo dd who is out with a friend who is very responsible and needs to drive her home.  I texted her to say, "Hey, make sure D isn't drinking!" because we hadn't really had that conversation before she left.  So she texts me back and says he already had one, but will only have one, and they're going to be bowling for the next 3-4 hours.  So then I'm thinking, well, is a hard and fast NO drinking rule really necessary?  Should I keep in mind that these young adults are trustworthy and it may be safe to drive after several hours--if they know to wait before driving? (I googled, LOL  Do YOU consider it safe to wait or not take the chance?)

 

Just looking for thoughts on this for yourself and your older teens/young adults.  Thanks!

 

 

My personal rule is no driving if there's been drinking within the previous 12 hours. 

 

I tell my ds the same.  He doesn't drink and he's only starting to drive, but I figure it's never to early to give these guidelines.   I've also told him that if he has been drinking or if his ride home has been drinking, that he can call me and I will pick him up and his friends and drive everyone home -- no questions asked, no lectures to follow.  Or, if he's farther away and I can't get him, I've told him I will e-transfer money into his account to pay for a cab -- no questions asked, no lectures to follow.  In other words, there's no excuse for drinking and driving or taking any chances with someone having had "enough time" between the drinking and the driving. 

 

I'm glad to say that he did call me when his ride home had been drinking.  It was a band-mate and he was really ticked off at the guy for getting drunk because he thought it was very unprofessional of him (they were at a paying gig).  If wants to be the kind of professional musician who never drinks or does drugs, I am NOT going to be the one to dissuade him of that.  That's for sure! 

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My personal rule is no driving if there's been drinking within the previous 12 hours.

 

I tell my ds the same. He doesn't drink and he's only starting to drive, but I figure it's never to early to give these guidelines. I've also told him that if he has been drinking or if his ride home has been drinking, that he can call me and I will pick him up and his friends and drive everyone home -- no questions asked, no lectures to follow. Or, if he's farther away and I can't get him, I've told him I will e-transfer money into his account to pay for a cab -- no questions asked, no lectures to follow. In other words, there's no excuse for drinking and driving or taking any chances with someone having had "enough time" between the drinking and the driving.

 

I'm glad to say that he did call me when his ride home had been drinking. It was a band-mate and he was really ticked off at the guy for getting drunk because he thought it was very unprofessional of him (they were at a paying gig). If wants to be the kind of professional musician who never drinks or does drugs, I am NOT going to be the one to dissuade him of that. That's for sure!

Good for him!

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I think all should have this conversation with kids who go out with friends and their parents as well. Oldest went out to eat with a friend and her parents one night and the dad, who was driving, had drinks with dinner. I was happy oldest sent us a text. They weren't hanging out there for hours and I don't know his tolerance.

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I think it really varies. I am perfectly fine with enjoying a glass of wine, chatting, having dinner, and driving afterwards. Or a few sips of beer before dinner, drive an hr later. BUT, I have very high alcohol tolerance. My mom can't have half a glass of wine without getting tipsy, so I wouldn't trust her to drive after a glass of wine, not even a couple/few hrs later.

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I don't drink and drive at all.  But I'm pretty hard core about the responsibility of driving: I cancel events if I'm too tired to drive alertly too.  I don't drive after drinking until after I've had a good night's sleep.

 

Husband used to have one drink before driving, but the allowed blood alcohol level has been reduced in Scotland now (it's lower than in England or the US) so one drink could put you over.  As we live in the countryside and rely on being able to drive, the risk of losing his licence is now too great, so he doesn't drink and drive either.

Edited by Laura Corin
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Here, if you register as having had anything at all - even below the limit - or if they ask and you say, "well, I had a glass of wine with dinner a couple hours ago..." then they have the option to throw you in jail for the night. I know a couple of people that this has happened to. Neither were convicted or even accused of DUI, but they had to spend the night in jail, one because he just answered in the affirmative that he'd had a beer earlier in the evening. So I do get a bit nervous about driving even hours after a drink here. But I do it anyway. I mean, I trust myself (and math and science) that one little (by which I mean how much a restaurant gives you!) glass of wine is okay 2-3 or more hours later assuming I ate.

 

I see people saying how everyone is different with alcohol... I do always feel that's true. I get tipsy super fast, but then it wears off pretty quickly too if I don't have another glass, which I usually don't. We have a rule against keeping alcohol in the house and drinking out is expensive!

Wow, this makes no sense at all. 😱 I understand being thrown in jail for breaking the law, but going there for having done nothing illegal is truly kafkaesque.

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Wow, this makes no sense at all. 😱 I understand being thrown in jail for breaking the law, but going there for having done nothing illegal is truly kafkaesque.

 

Yep. Ah, DC government is indeed sometimes Kafkaesque. It may be that it's changed in the last couple of years, but I don't think so... I was shocked the first time I knew someone who spent the night in jail over it. He was definitely not much of a drinker. He'd had a beer with dinner not too long before driving (maybe a couple of hours?) and was pulled over for a headlight being out - so not even for speeding or driving erratically or anything.

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Because I drink mostly at home, or at the homes of family members, I usually think about when I will need to drive next before I consume alcohol. I can't "just no" or I'd never drink at all... I'm always going to need to drive somewhere sometime in the future. So, I settled on a 3 or 4 hour expectation (after the end of consuming the drink) as perfectly reasonable -- especially because I really drink half-standard-serving drinks even when I think I'm having 'one'.

 

The thing when you're "out" in s social drinking scenario is that the first drink impairs your judgement, and then you don't always think clearly about how extra-strong it could have been, or quite when you got it, it quite when you finished it, or exactly what time it is now, and how it all feels 'close enough' if everybody else does it too. And most "out" places, you don't just sit there for 4h after finishing your one drink without feeling awkward about it (unless it's s leisurely meal or something). In normal "out drinking" situations, the rule is not very good -- not because it isn't biologically sound, but simply because it is circumstantially very difficult to actually implement. I don't reccomend it.

Edited by bolt.
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If that young adult had had one beer over three or four hours on a previous occasion and had been fine, I would probably be okay with him driving in the instance the OP described. But being that they're very young, I think the safer thing would have been for him not to drive, just to be certain.

 

I don't drink enough for it ever to have been a concern; I might have a sip of DH's drink if we're out, but I think the only time I have ever ordered something for myself when out was when he took me out to a nice restaurant for my 21st birthday, and I ordered a glass of wine. (And then the waitress didn't even card me, and I was bummed not to get to show off my new ID, haha. Maybe when you're in a college town where many kids get drunk often at bars, but you act like grown ups instead, they assume you are one.). DH handles alcohol well, and a drink over several hours, with food, doesn't affect him negatively. However, if we're at all concerned that it's been too much alcohol and not enough time, even if he appears to be fine, I drive, always.

Edited by happypamama

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Neither my partner nor I drive so that makes it easy for us :laugh:. On the very rare occasion we've served alcohol in our home, we only serve one glass to everyone, regardless if they are driving cars, mobility scooters, or nothing at all, at the beginning of an evening where people will likely be there quite a few hours. I'm extremely sensitive/twitchy around inebriated-like behaviours and I'll happily stop anyone acting off. 

 

If my children drive, I intend to teach a zero-intoxicating-or-altering-substances policy - we have tons of taxis and friends willing to give lifts. Having been in the car with an obviously off parent at 13, it was extremely terrifying, so many near misses, and I remember then and still now get angry at the other adults [it was after a major church event, hundreds saw] who knew and did nothing. 

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Interesting topic and responses.

 

To answer the question, I have a two drink limit if I'm driving.  Technically, I could likely drink more than that and be well under the legal limit.  I know for sure, because not long ago I was at a Brunch Festival with my sister.  We took Uber there, because food and drinks were unlimited.  They also had police there with a booth set up with breathalyzers for you to voluntarily test your BAC.  We both tested when we got there, just for fun,  and both blew a 0.0, as we should have.  Then we ate a bit and drank more than a bit for a couple of hours.  Enough that I absolutely would not have even considered driving.  We went back to the booth and blew again, and I was at less than half the legal limit.  My sister had had much more than I  to drink, and she was at .07.  Legal limit here is .08. 

 

That said, regardless of what is allowed, legally, I definitely felt impaired and would absolutely not have driven.  My sister, who also would not have driven because she knew how much she had consumed, felt fine, she said.  But she's a 50+ year old woman with years of life experience.  I wonder if a 20-something would have the self-awareness level to understand that even if you don't "feel" it you could still be impaired.  I'm guessing no.  

 

Like I said, interesting topic.

 

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I would be fine with it. Assuming he's not a completely new drinker or driver, I'd be fine with two beers in two hours, followed by two hours of nothing. 

 

 

Here, if you register as having had anything at all - even below the limit - or if they ask and you say, "well, I had a glass of wine with dinner a couple hours ago..." then they have the option to throw you in jail for the night. 

 

I'll be brutally honest and confess that I thought you must be mistaken or exaggerating when I read this post, but nope, I easily found an article pertaining to it (from 2005). Crazy! 

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Yep. Ah, DC government is indeed sometimes Kafkaesque. It may be that it's changed in the last couple of years, but I don't think so... I was shocked the first time I knew someone who spent the night in jail over it. He was definitely not much of a drinker. He'd had a beer with dinner not too long before driving (maybe a couple of hours?) and was pulled over for a headlight being out - so not even for speeding or driving erratically or anything.

The part about throwing someone in jail just for drinking isn't jiving with any laws I know of in any state.

 

DC does differentiate between DWI (.08 or higher) and DUI (.07 or below + signs of impairment). Both are criminal charges and could result in an arrest. I have a feeling the people you spoke with left out some details, the most likely being that a blood draw came back at a level too low to make the DUI charge stick.

Edited by ChocolateReign

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I would be fine with it. Assuming he's not a completely new drinker or driver, I'd be fine with two beers in two hours, followed by two hours of nothing.

 

 

 

I'll be brutally honest and confess that I thought you must be mistaken or exaggerating when I read this post, but nope, I easily found an article pertaining to it (from 2005). Crazy!

Can you link that? I really need to read this and figure out how this has not been challenged in court.

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Okay, found the 2005 articles. They were arresting and charging drivers with BAC as low as .03, but they were arrested and charged.

 

DC is still one of the worst areas to catch a charge.

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I see people do this frequently. Arrive, have a Mike's. Then a glass of wine. Then dinner is served, another 2 glasses of wine during the meal. Then a liqueur or another Mike's.  It seems like a lot but when I watch people do it & it seems a lot when I type it out but I see people do this & it's obv their norm, kwim? 

 

 

 

I've been to lots of dinner parties where similar amounts are consumed.  Arrive - have a glass of wine. Depending on how long people are mingling, maybe have 2 glasses.  Then dinner is served where a different glass of wine is poured.  If the hosts are really into wine, it will be a different glass of wine with each course.  After dinner, coffee and/or tea is served, but also port.  If things linger longer, more wine comes out. 

 

No one ever drives home afterwards.

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Interestingly, using these calculators 1 beer would give me a BAC of 0.011, well below the 0.04 needed for DWI. It would also take ~40 mins to clear my system. So one beer and driving seems okay to me.

 

Here, it's not a DUI until 0.08. I've never heard of it as low as 0.04. Where is that?

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Here, it's not a DUI until 0.08. I've never heard of it as low as 0.04. Where is that?

 

In BC, Canada, it's 0.05.

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My personal rule is no driving if there's been drinking within the previous 12 hours. 

 

I tell my ds the same.  He doesn't drink and he's only starting to drive, but I figure it's never to early to give these guidelines.   I've also told him that if he has been drinking or if his ride home has been drinking, that he can call me and I will pick him up and his friends and drive everyone home -- no questions asked, no lectures to follow.  Or, if he's farther away and I can't get him, I've told him I will e-transfer money into his account to pay for a cab -- no questions asked, no lectures to follow.  In other words, there's no excuse for drinking and driving or taking any chances with someone having had "enough time" between the drinking and the driving. 

 

While my personal rule is more lenient, I want to mention that this doesn't apply to my kids. If they feel unsafe with the situation, that's enough. 

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I think having one drink then waiting 3-4 hours before driving is perfectly safe! Even if that drink were stretched out over the 3-4 hours it would be fine, unless the drinker had a medical condition or something.

 

 

Agree with this

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Op - if I knew my kid was going to be getting into a car with someone who had a drink (of what? how big?) 3-4h ago, I'd be spitting nails & telling them to take a cab instead. Or I'd be driving out there myself. 

 

You really think someone would be impaired 4 hours after one drink???? I can't even imagine that. Yes, clearance varies, but 4 hours for one drink is way beyond that. 

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To me, saying that you shouldn't drive for say 12 hours after drinking makes as much sense as saying you need sunscreen at midnight....yes, sunscreen is important, and it important not to drive intoxicated. But you don't have a risk of sunburn in the dark, and you don't have alcohol in your system 8 hours after a single drink! 

 

12 hours...that would mean if I had a glass of champagne at new years I couldn't drive the next day at 11am???

 

 

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I put in 3 drinks, 2 hours, and my weight/sex into the BAC calculator, and get 0.038, which is still way under the 0.08 limit. Am I understanding this correctly?

 

As long as I eat, I generally don't worry about how much I drink. I am a big girl and drink wine with dinner.

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I also notice that there are a lot of Canadians posting in this thread. From what my husband has explained to me, DUIs used to be a huge problem in Quebec (I assume Canada generally as well). So, the government really cracked down on it. From what I have observed, over the last 10 years of being around Canadians, they are much more concerned about this issue vs. Americans, so I think the government PSAs and laws have had an effect on the national mentality.

Edited by SeaConquest
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I would also add that, if I had to drive in Canadian weather, I would be much more concerned about this. Living in Southern California, weather is just not a factor in driving.

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I'm amazed by how many of you and your husbands don't drive. :). I guess you live in urban areas. Where I live there's no other way to get around but driving.

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I don't drink.  My mom does.  My in-laws do not.  I had my 13yo boyfriend killed by a drunk driver while he was playing putt putt golf.( Driver went through the fence and drug him 50 feet or so.)   So, I have a no tolerance policy.  I also see no good benefits from alcohol .I've had uncles and a grandparent that were alcoholics.   It just isn't worthwhile for me to indulge, much less drive. We did go on a wine tasting tour once and my husband made me laugh when he said that his mouthwash tasted better than this.

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