To Drink Or Not to Drink That Is The Question?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a sanctimonious prude.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a sanctimonious prude. I have a drink now and then, especially if relaxing in the evening with friends. My preference is Appleton or Mont Gay rum mixed with my favorite cola and a few ice cubes. The ice is very important even if the cola is already cold, since it keeps the drink tasting fresh. The cola doesn’t seem to go flat as quickly with ice in it, as it does if you are depending upon the cold cola alone to keep the drink tasting the way it should.

What do you do if you do not presently drink?

If you do not presently drink alcoholic beverages at all, think long and hard before you start. If you are going to drink, drink responsibly. Don’t let your drinking get out of control. I will expand on these points later and also point out the consequences that can follow if my words of caution are lightly dismissed.

What about an occasional drink, is that okay?

An occasional drink now and then when having a night out or gathering with friends in a private setting if engaged in responsibly, for me at least, is relaxing and helps to rid myself of the anxieties and stress of the moment. For a few minutes you can forget that there is a whole world out there to which you must relate in several ways: family, friends, job, neighbor, you name it; all have a claim on your time. All are attempting to gain your attention and if you do not have a way to release the stress it can sometimes seem entirely too much.

The important thing to realize is that while a temporary flight of fancy away from your problems may buy a little breathing space, the problems you had before you took that drink are still there when you finish it. It takes you to solve the problems that exist in your life and you do that by taking constructive action specifically designed to meet the need. Drinking alcoholic beverages won’t solve any problem for you. So be aware of your limit and then stop drinking. All sorts of problems can come your way if you don’t stop when you should have.

If you are drinking away from home and need to get back, you could have a designated driver or a taxi take you there. This would be a better decision than driving yourself home when you’ve had too much to drink. Aside from the fact that it is against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol when your normal faculties are impaired, you could negligently cause significant property damage, seriously injure or kill someone, and in the process injure yourself and lose your driving privileges or even kill yourself. It isn’t worth the risk to get behind the wheel when you’ve had too much to drink. Too many things can go wrong and you could end up paying for that mistake for years to come. A lesson you will have had to learn the hard way.

Although retired now, when I was still practicing law, I represented many individuals charged with driving while intoxicated. If someone was struck and killed, a manslaughter conviction could put that person in the State Prison for a very long time. No-one wants that to happen. Even if no accident occurs and nothing more than being cited for driving under the influence happens, a court appearance is necessary and you could lose your driver’s license, with the possible exception of only being allowed to drive for work purposes. What a drag that is. No wheels available to take you where you want to go. Having to depend upon others for a ride.

If under the age of twenty-one are you even old enough to drink legally where you live?

The legal age for drinking may vary with each jurisdiction. Check to make sure you understand what the legal age for drinking is where you live. If you have not yet reached the minimum age for drinking, act responsibly. Do not falsify an identification card to show an attained age that is incorrect. That could get you arrested. It is not worth taking the risk. You may think you look old enough to pull the off the ruse, but very often you are sadly mistaken in assuming that bar tenders, store attendants and others checking identifications can’t put two and two together, confiscate your altered identification and report you to the authorities. Most night clubs and stores selling alcoholic beverages do not want to jeopardize their liquor license by selling or serving alcohol to a minor. Having an adult make the purchase of alcohol for you is every bit as much of a problem and only spells trouble for all concerned when caught.

But the legal problems you confront are only the tip of the iceberg. There are lots of other considerations as well. If an underaged drinker and you are stopped by the police, how do you explain all of that to your parents? Lying to the police or to your parents only digs a bigger hole to crawl out of, you are diminished as a person and as a result, lose a measure of your self-respect. It isn’t worth it.

Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With The Stars is an entertaining program to watch on television, but dancing on the table with shirt off and a red rose between your teeth after consuming more alcohol than is wont, is a no-no. It is unseemly to be dancing on a table at a night club or on the table of your host and hostess bringing embarrassment to yourself and all others present with your tomfoolery. It is like mooning someone with your bare booty sticking out of the window of a fast-moving car. It may give you a huge momentary rush but in the long run you come across as being idiotic and immature. It is not “a good and wonderful thing” to come across to others as a fool. It is quite unacceptable and you will likely be labeled as a social pariah.

Conclusion

This is the message I want you to take away after reading this article. Each person must carefully consider the impact a decision to drink will have on them. The questions presented below, if thoughtfully entertained will help you find your own answer to the question whether or not drinking alcoholic beverages is right for you.

Assuming you are of a sufficient age to legally drink alcoholic beverages, if you do not presently drink why do you think you may wish to begin now?

Is it simply a matter of drinking because your friends drink? If so, that is a very poor reason to start. Don’t let peer pressure or mere social considerations make a decision of this magnitude for you. After considering all of the facts, you are quite capable of coming to your own conclusion. Show the maturity to think this through, come to a considered decision, and then stick to your guns. If wavering from your decision to not drink, review your reasons for choosing abstinence in the first place and see if those reasons are still valid.

If you decide to drink, will you be a responsible drinker?

Will you know your limits? Or, are you likely to abuse alcohol, and often become drunk. Even those of sufficient age to drink who are confident they can control their drinking are sometimes wrong and end up having to seek professional assistance to overcome the problem. If there are heavy drinkers or alcoholics in your family there may be a family tendency towards excessive drinking that puts you at greater risk of abusing alcohol than others might be. The risk to your health and well-being may be unacceptable. So weigh this issue carefully before you decide to begin drinking.

Can you afford the financial cost of buying alcoholic beverages?

If you cannot afford it, why do something that may put you financially at risk? Drinking can involve a sizeable expense that if not controlled, could have significant impact on your overall budget.

If you start drinking, will it make you less dependable in meeting your personal and family responsibilities and obligations?

My experience with others, especially those who end up being heavy drinkers is that they become less responsible in meeting their obligations to work, family and friends than they were before they fell into the pattern of frequent heavy drinking. Although retired now and no longer accept clients or give legal advice, I had a law partner who wasn’t happy with his lunch unless he had at least two martinis along with it. Over time as his drinking problem went from bad to worse and he became unreliable, I had to end my relationship with him because he showed up at afternoon court hearings with alcohol on his breath, was often late for office appointments with clients and the quality and amount of his legal work over time became unacceptable. Don’t let this kind of thing happen to you. Perform the duties of your employment well, to the best of your ability. Don’t start drinking your lunch.

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