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A Simple Plan to Keep Drunks Off the Highways

February 22, 1986

I have a simple plan to help keep drunks off the road. It's so simple that maybe its been overlooked. Then again, I may have just missed it.

Anyway, I am 32 and have been drinking since 16. I never got really drunk until I was old enough to go into a bar. After work, some of us would go into a local bar to have a "couple of beers." There would always be other regulars in there that we knew so it was always like a party atmosphere. What made it worse was the fact that we were tired from working and usually had an empty stomach. One beer led to another, then everyone would feel obligated to buy a round, maybe a couple of shooters and then at 7 or 8 p.m. there were five to 10 drunks getting ready to drive home. Rarely did anyone intend to get drunk, but in that atmosphere it is easy to lose track of time.

My plan is simply to limit the number of drinks a person can have. Maybe three is a good number. As I write this I can hear people saying "you could just go to another bar and get three more." This plan is not going to stop a person from getting drunk who wants to. All any of us ever needed was that initial shove out the door and a three-beer limit would provide that. Relations on the home front would definitely improve.

Of course somebody is going to suffer if this plan were enacted. I don't think restaurants would because most people do not go to a restaurant to get drunk. The bars would suffer. Especially the local beer bars. But how many of these places do we need? In my area there is a bar on almost every block turning out drunks like a factory assembly line.

The few people that this would unemploy would not outweigh the positive aspects of the plan. If you were to ask responsible drinkers about this I think they would all approve. Anybody who wants to drink more than three is obviously trying to get high. Who cares if they don't like the plan? They can go home and kill brain cells.

W. HOWARD

Lakewood

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