Drinking Lessons

 

I was a scofflaw. In my state it is against the law to provide alcohol to any person who is under age 21. When my sons were underage, I broke this law on a few occasions. Neither of them ever embraced the binge-drinking culture when they went to college. Teach your kids how to drink.

I saw a story featured in the Google News “spotlight.” It was an article from CNN, a few months ago, titled “Is Drinking with your Kids at Home a Good Idea?” I say, yes it is a very good idea. Your kids need good role models. They need to see that adults can enjoy one drink or two drinks and then stop. They need to learn how to enjoy one drink and then stop.

Modern American youth culture wants to teach them that, when you drink, you are drinking to get drunk. It is all over social media, TV, movies, pop songs, etc. Drunkenness is a laughing matter. Often it is an excuse for bad behavior, such as casual sex, which is frequently blamed on alcohol.

It is a bad idea to let your kids learn about adult beverages from their friends. If that is how they learn to drink, then what they will learn is binge-drinking.

Political Legacy of Teetotalism

I live in the Bible Belt, which may be described as “Baptist World.” Where I live, well over 70 percent of households show up for a worship service at least once per month, so that is much higher than national averages. The largest denomination is Southern Baptist, with other Baptists, and also a number of “Non-denominational” churches that are best described as “Baptist lite.”

Our politics is thoroughly Baptist. One thing we discarded relatively recently is our “blue laws,” which were originally developed back when my state was even more Christian and was evenly more strongly influenced by conservative Baptists. Methodists also used to be strong around here, and they were teetotalers. Tennessee went for Prohibition, and most counties were “dry” up until the 1970s and 1980s. (We still retain some vestigial blue laws, but they are a very pale shadow of what was in force when Prohibition ended.)

But Tennessee also always had a strong strain of drinkers who were inclined to moonshine and a scofflaw attitude. It was an unfortunate culture in which drinking was a taboo and, when indulged, it led to ruin. I find our college binge-drinking culture related to the illicit roadhouses of my youth.

Drinking Heritage

I was always perplexed by that, because my family was strongly influenced by my father’s German Lutheran heritage. We would go to church functions and there would be beer.  When we were kids we could have a taste or a small cup. Nobody got drunk unless after most of the guests left, a couple of families stayed behind to help hosts clean up, and then lingered for a few more drinks. I saw a lot of drinking compared to my school friends, but I only witnessed drunkenness on two or three occasions. I did not associate drinking with drunkenness.

There is a very old joke that still gets told.

You can take a Baptist fishing with you, but you don’t want to take two Baptists.

(That is because one Baptist by himself will drink beer with you, but if two Baptists are along, they won’t drink alcohol in front of each other. The joke was so common that the punchline was seldom uttered out loud.)

The same thing was told of Methodists. (In contrast, the Episcopalians were called “Whisky-palians.”  They were typically few in number, comparatively more well-to-do, and, though they were more influential, they generally did not rock the dry boat.)

When I got to college I saw lots of Baptist and Methodist kids go wild with weekend binge drinking. They had no acquaintance with alcoholic beverages until they gained access to them and were away from home and in a student culture that encouraged drunkenness. This seemed to be less of a problem for Lutheran and Catholic kids, but many of them tried hard to catch up to their friends’ drinking.

Things seem to be worse on campus now than they were 40 years ago.

Drinking Age and Federal Coercion

This whole thing was brought to mind by a column that appeared recently at National Review. It was by Jake Curtis, and it was about federal government coercion of the states. The focus of the article was about the case that upheld the drinking age. In the 1980s, a version of the Surface Transportation Act was passed that included a provision that said that five percent of a state’s federal transportation funds would be withheld from states that kept their drinking age below age 21. It was upheld by the Supreme Court.

It came about because of a campaign by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who had mobilized an incredible amount of political capital over the issue of alcohol-related fatalities in automobile crashes. They were right, but the remedy they chose has consequences.

Consider that the “federal funds” in question are gas tax funds that were paid in the state; the federal government collects it all, skims some off the top, and then returns the rest with strings attached. The threat of holding out transportation funds was a big enough stick to get half the states to raise their drinking age (the other states had already raised their drinking age).

I am concerned enough about the number of people who get killed in traffic crashes to favor the DUI/ DWI laws. That is one of the issues where us Social Conservatives oppose the Libertarians.

But the way the feds coerced the states over the drinking age is still reverberating through such unrelated matters as Medicare.

The conservatives who opposed Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway Act were right. It should have been done through a constitutional amendment. If we had a Transportation Amendment it probably would not have supported the coercion that the Court upheld over the drinking age. Likewise we should have an Education Amendment, a Labor Amendment, and a half-dozen other amendments, if our founding document were to actually keep up with our current national practices. Those debates would be constructive; I wish we would have them.

Drinking Lessons

I would like to lobby my state to make a change to our drinking law. I want parents to have the right to serve alcoholic beverages to their own children in the privacy of their own homes. But my state legislators would be foolish to listen to me. Big Government won’t allow any dissent.

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  1. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    Very good article, MJ. I would favor my state going back to age 19, but if the majority of Minnesotans disagree with me so be it. It’s the federal coercion that grinds my gears. Under federal law medical marijuana is illegal, but about half the states have defied the federal government and allow it. I’m fine with that. I don’t know why every state says “Yes, Master” when the federal government commands them to raise their drinking age or lower their BAC definition of drunk driving. Yes, I understand the penalty of losing some portion of the highway money, but you would think at least a couple of independent minded states (Hello, Texas?) would tell Uncle Sam to jump in a lake (or something more colorful) and raise their gas tax by a penny or two to make up the difference. Is our freedom worth so little that you will let the federal government boss your state around to save a lousy quarter or so per fill-up?

    If it were me I’d keep the laws the same and just not enforce them.

    The problem is that when everyone knows there are laws that are never enforced, it leads to disrespect for laws in general.  Also, unenforced laws are a tool for an ornery cop or prosecutor to use to get even with a personal enemy.  “Hey, everybody does it.”  “It’s still against the law and you’re under arrest.”

    I don’t want to derail the thread, but this issue is one of the reasons I oppose federal infrastructure spending for things that should be paid for at the state or local level.  There will be strings attached.

    • #31
  2. JosePluma Coolidge
    JosePluma
    @JosePluma

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    The problem is that when everyone knows there are laws that are never enforced, it leads to disrespect for laws in general. Also, unenforced laws are a tool for an ornery cop or prosecutor to use to get even with a personal enemy. “Hey, everybody does it.” “It’s still against the law and you’re under arrest.”

    Because of the extra hassle involved in arresting someone for marijuana (extra reports, handling of evidence) for little return (a marijuana arrest was a petty misdemeanor but required the same amount of paperwork as a felony narcotics bust), most officers on my department used the “dump the weed and get outta here” strategy.  Of course, if you were a jerk about it, you got arrested.  In other words, you were getting arrested for being a wise ass, not for possession of pot.  I decided early in my career that this was corrupting, and arrested anyone I came across with even the smallest amount of marijuana.    As a result, even though I was probably the most pro-legalization officer on the department, I usually had more marijuana arrests than any other patrol officer.  The world is full of paradoxes.

    • #32
  3. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    My Brazilian exchange student told us that in Brazil, the legal limit for blood alcohol content is zero.

    Zero.

    This seemed like a good idea. Simple and idiot-proof.

    That seems like a really bad idea to me. I would prefer that the law not treat us like a bunch of idiots. And I wonder what the compliance rate is in Brazil? I’d be pretty surprised if practically no one drives home after having a single drink.

    I just got back from Scotland, where the limit has been dropped to point 0 something – basically zero. The penalties are harsh and not many people getting caught

    At night.

    The next morning is a different story. People are responsibly not driving and drinking but are popping positive on their way to work the next day

     

    • #33
  4. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    anonymous (View Comment):
    The general view is that if you’re old enough to carry a weapon to defend the confederation (voluntary enlistment from 18, compulsory militia service for males from 19), you’re old enough to buy whatever you wish to drink.

    That has always been my view.  As well as, if we don’t think they have the judgment to drink, why on earth do we allow them to vote?

    • #34
  5. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    I agree, MJB. I’d like to have the drinking age return to 18. If they want to prevent drunk driving (big fan of this, by the way) raise the driving age to 18. After all, young people who drive have plenty of accidents without alcohol—texting, for instance, and playing dumb tricks (“hey, let’s see if we can get this car to go airborne!”)

    Uhm, no. Not a good idea. Accidents are more correlated with years of driving experience than age, at least for the first few years. You really want young adults to get in those years of experience while still minors, so parents still have actual leverage over their behaviour. For exactly the same reason we want our children raised with modest consumption of alcohol while still minors.

    I agree with Phil.  If you want to reduce drunk driving, punish drunk driving.  Everyone, no exceptions whatsoever, convicted of drunk driving loses their license for a year for the first offense with mandatory jail time for any offense after that, ramping up quickly.  And the car being driven is subject to confiscation as an instrumentality of the crime, unless it was stolen and that exception only applies if the owner prosecutes for grand theft auto.

    I allowed my children to have a small amount of wine with dinner whenever we had wine with dinner.  They never did after the first time – good wine is an acquired taste.  When they turned 16 they could have a beer with me at home.  After 18 they could drink at home.  In all cases it was made clear that once they had a drink they were home for the night.

    If they drank at a party, or were with someone who drank, they were expected to call home and my wife or I would pick them up.  They were promised no consequences.  If they ever got tagged for DUI/DWI, they were promised the consequences would be ferocious.  (I may have mentioned jail being a more convivial habitat.)  They never called, but they also never got stopped.  I am too realistic to think that the approach necessarily worked, but it was what I could think to do.

    • #35
  6. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Isaac Smith (View Comment):
    If they drank at a party, or were with someone who drank, they were expected to call home and my wife or I would pick them up. They were promised no consequences. If they ever got tagged for DUI/DWI, they were promised the consequences would be ferocious.

    My parents had the same policy.  It was generally explained, while learning to drive, as part of a lecture on the distinction between morality and legality.  With the point that illegal conduct that we didn’t consider immoral still has consequences, and as a young adult, we would be expected to face the consequences of any of our own illegal conduct.

    • #36
  7. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    My Brazilian exchange student told us that in Brazil, the legal limit for blood alcohol content is zero.

    Zero.

    This seemed like a good idea. Simple and idiot-proof.

    It’s actually 0.02.

    • #37
  8. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    MJBubba: I live in the Bible Belt, which may be described as “Baptist World.” Where I live, well over 70 percent of households show up for a worship service at least once per month, so that is much higher than national averages. The largest denomination is Southern Baptist, with other Baptists, and also a number of “Non-denominational” churches that are best described as “Baptist lite.”

    And of course without a Baptist preacher, Bourbon wouldn’t have been invented.

    • #38
  9. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    At our house, kids drink. Every Friday night those who want have a lechaim – the younger ones might ask for a taste of Frangelico or some chocolate liqueur. The older ones with an appreciation for Scotch have that. One or two of my kids don’t drink, ever, by their own choice.

    We moderate amounts, not composition. I believe that everything is, in itself, neutral – including alcohol. It is what we choose to do with it that either lowers or elevates us.

    • #39
  10. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    anonymous (View Comment):
    As a flaming libertarian, the idea of government-imposed arbitrary age thresholds for any right or privilege offends me, but you don’t have to have Rothbard on the brain to twig to the fact that it is a singularly poor idea to use the same age to enable people to:

    • Drink alcohol
    • Drive motor vehicles
    • Keep and bear arms

    Isn’t it better to kind of phase this in, so they’re not adapting to all of these new degrees of freedom at once? Or, better still, base these privileges upon maturity, not age.

    Phased in makes sense. With respect to alcohol the key is to demystify it. In America there is so much mythology and purpose built into the idea of drinking alcohol. It need to be treated like any other beverage choice. You drink a beer, wine, whisky or what have you not to signify some sort of extra freedom but because you like that particular flavor. When the very consumption of alcohol means more than just its quality as a beverage people feel compelled to choose it over other drinks that they may actually prefer (like Coke, Lemonade, Tea, etc.). The best beer or wine is still mediocre compared to that sweet sweet Coca Cola flavor hitting your pallet all nice and cool on a hot summer day.

    • #40
  11. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    MBF (View Comment):
    There is no drinking age in Wisconsin for minors accompanied by parents/guardians. Bars and restaurants of course have the right to refuse service, but it is perfectly legal for a high schooler to have a pint with his fish fry on a Friday night out with mom and dad.

    Texas is the same though a lot of waiters don’t know the law and will refuse service.  (This happened recently with us and a European friend with his son.  The son was in the upper teens… legal in his home country.  But the waiter was like… uh… no.  It wasn’t worth arguing.)

    • #41
  12. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Also, I haven’t read all the comments, but I completely agree with the main thrust of the article.  I remember a friend of mine in college got married and had a baby very young.  We went out to eat.  She ordered a margarita.  She was only 20, but the waitress glanced at the baby in the highchair plus the baby spittle on my friend’s shirt, and she served her without asking for an ID.

    Why in the world would anyone say that young mom who was working ten hour days on opposite shifts from her husband so they could make ends meet was not capable of having one drink over dinner?

    If you’re old enough to get the death penalty–17 in Georgia–serve in the military, and vote, it is nonsensical to say you are not old enough to have a drink.

    As for MADD….  They changed the culture that surrounded drunk driving as much as they changed the laws.  People were much more relaxed about that sort of thing before the 1980s.  Now driving drunk is socially unacceptable as well as stupid.  I think that impacted the DD statistics more than the law because anyone who has ever been on a college campus knows “the law” is broken into so many pieces at pretty much ever party that it barely continues to exist.

    • #42
  13. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    MBF (View Comment):
    There is no drinking age in Wisconsin for minors accompanied by parents/guardians. Bars and restaurants of course have the right to refuse service, but it is perfectly legal for a high schooler to have a pint with his fish fry on a Friday night out with mom and dad.

    Texas is the same though a lot of waiters don’t know the law and will refuse service. (This happened recently with us and a European friend with his son. The son was in the upper teens… legal in his home country. But the waiter was like… uh… no. It wasn’t worth arguing.)

    Even in Wisconsin the laws (or at least the wait-staff) can be pretty stoopid.  Back in 1986, when we were 25, My college roommate and his wife were refused service in a bar in Milwaukee because their IDs were from out-of-state (They moved to Maryland after graduation).  Admittedly they both had baby-faces and looked young, but not *that* young…

     

     

    • #43
  14. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    MBF (View Comment):
    There is no drinking age in Wisconsin for minors accompanied by parents/guardians. Bars and restaurants of course have the right to refuse service, but it is perfectly legal for a high schooler to have a pint with his fish fry on a Friday night out with mom and dad.

    Texas is the same though a lot of waiters don’t know the law and will refuse service. (This happened recently with us and a European friend with his son. The son was in the upper teens… legal in his home country. But the waiter was like… uh… no. It wasn’t worth arguing.)

    Even in Wisconsin the laws (or at least the wait-staff) can be pretty stoopid. Back in 1986, when we were 25, My college roommate and his wife were refused service in a bar in Milwaukee because their IDs were from out-of-state (They moved to Maryland after graduation). Admittedly they both had baby-faces and looked young, but not *that* young…

    we were refused service at a bar in Milwaukee because my roommate

    I understand part of that may be because waiters have it drilled into their heads that if it’s a policeman, the restaurant will get a big fine, and the waiter will lose his/her job.  But yeah….  Even when you’re trying to follow the law, tin tyrants will enforce “the law”? :)

    • #44
  15. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    I know here in NJ the drinking age is for purchases, but parents can serve alcohol to their children as long as they “exercise reasonable supervision.” Growing up, all of my Italian friends drank wine with dinner.

    MJBubba: I live in the Bible Belt, which may be described as “Baptist World.”

    made me think of this . . . 

     

    • #45
  16. Qoumidan Coolidge
    Qoumidan
    @Qoumidan

    My father in law killed himself driving drunk.  He also ruined a large part of his life by drinking too much.  As a result, my mother in law is firmly anti-alcohol.  She’s a great person, and I respect her but I feel she’s got a mental block here.

    Like the gun control advocates blaming guns she blames alcohol as the cause of the problem, and doesn’t put the blame on the person who doesn’t control themselves.  It’s a strange blind spot that comes from trauma, I guess.  She’s been telling my kids that ”alcohol makes you stupid” and now my kids are old enough to repeat that without any comprehension.

    But how do you argue respectfully with someone whose loved one died ”because of alcohol”?

    • #46
  17. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    anonymous (View Comment):
    As a flaming libertarian, the idea of government-imposed arbitrary age thresholds for any right or privilege offends me, but you don’t have to have Rothbard on the brain to twig to the fact that it is a singularly poor idea to use the same age to enable people to:

    • Drink alcohol
    • Drive motor vehicles
    • Keep and bear arms

    Isn’t it better to kind of phase this in, so they’re not adapting to all of these new degrees of freedom at once? Or, better still, base these privileges upon maturity, not age.

    Sure

    • Drinking, no legal limit, subject to parental control
    • Driving – 16
    • Keeping and bearing Arms – 18, lower with parental consent and training
    • Voting – 21, maybe 25 – look, if you’re still on your parent’s insurance policy you just don’t understand enough about life to have the right to help set policy.
    • #47
  18. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Qoumidan (View Comment):
    But how do you argue respectfully with someone whose loved one died ”because of alcohol”?

    It is the same problem as gun-assisted suicide.

    • #48
  19. JosePluma Coolidge
    JosePluma
    @JosePluma

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I understand part of that may be because waiters have it drilled into their heads that if it’s a policeman, the restaurant will get a big fine, and the waiter will lose his/her job. But yeah…. Even when you’re trying to follow the law, tin tyrants will enforce “the law”?

    The law in New Mexico, where I was both a bartender and a police officer was that children could be served if they were with their parents but any business could absolutely refuse to serve anyone who was underage.  None of the businesses I worked for or dealt with as a cop allowed it, and that’s a good thing.  Parents shouldn’t be hassled for giving their kid a sip of wine or beer at home, but it should stay at home.

    • #49
  20. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Isaac Smith (View Comment):

    anonymous (View Comment):
    As a flaming libertarian, the idea of government-imposed arbitrary age thresholds for any right or privilege offends me, but you don’t have to have Rothbard on the brain to twig to the fact that it is a singularly poor idea to use the same age to enable people to:

    • Drink alcohol
    • Drive motor vehicles
    • Keep and bear arms

    Isn’t it better to kind of phase this in, so they’re not adapting to all of these new degrees of freedom at once? Or, better still, base these privileges upon maturity, not age.

    Sure

    • Drinking, no legal limit, subject to parental control
    • Driving – 16
    • Keeping and bearing Arms – 18, lower with parental consent and training
    • Voting – 21, maybe 25 – look, if you’re still on your parent’s insurance policy you just don’t understand enough about life to have the right to help set policy.

    Voting:  If you’re paying net taxes (more cash sent to the government than cash received from the government in any particular calendar year), you get to vote, regardless of age.  This knocks out most Social Security recipients, most students, all government employees…

    Alternative, given the paperwork burden to enforce the above:  Once vote per $1000 taxes paid to the jurisdiction in question.  Bring your tax forms to the polling place.

     

    • #50
  21. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Qoumidan (View Comment):
    My father in law killed himself driving drunk.

    But how do you argue respectfully with someone whose loved one died ”because of alcohol”?

    Technically he died “because of car,” it wasn’t alcohol poisoning that killed him, right?  If she’s going to blame a thing rather than a person, it makes as much sense to blame the car and become anti-driving.

     

    • #51
  22. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):
    A legal drinking age of 21, for the public, is as low as it should go. I grew into adulthood when the age was 18. I can assure you that 18 year olds are MUCH less responsible than 21 year olds at knowing how to drink in a bar and then not drive. The carnage of 18-20 year olds in 1974-1978 was real and horrible.

    It depends where you live, when I was in college I didn’t even own a car, I walked to class or rode a bike. Even after graduation I took public transit to work, so when I went out to a bar with my colleagues on Friday evening, as long as I was sober enough to walk to the nearest BART station, I could still get myself home safely.

    Sure maybe in a rural county a drinking age of 21 makes sense, but in urban areas we have public transit, cabs, and Uber. Why do we need a uniform limit nationwide?

    I saw carnage growing up in CT in the late ’70s.  I graduated from high school in ’79, when the drinking age was 18 and the driving age was 16 with no probationary period.  I knew people who died or were paralyzed in drunk driving crashes.

    That said, I oppose the drinking age of 21.  Stricter driver’s licensing procedures and education and awareness about drinking and drunk driving can make a drinking age of 18 reasonable and beneficial.

    I now live in NJ where young drivers (17 and up) must complete six months of supervised driving and then 12 months of unsupervised probationary driving during which there are restrictions, including:

    • No driving after 11:01 p.m. and before 5:00 a.m.
    • Only one additional passenger is allowed unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

    My daughter is turning 18 this month, and my observation is that her peers drink at least as much as my friends and I did.  The drinking age of 21 is not much of an obstacle given that many kids have fake IDs and many parents allow the consumption of alcohol during parties at their homes (despite the public awareness campaign that admonishes, “Parents Who Host Lose The Most”).

    What is taken very seriously among my daughter’s peers is drunk driving.  I have not heard about any high schoolers in our area having drunk driving accidents, which were commonplace when I was that age.  For a long while this past school year, there was a wrecked car sitting on the front lawn of the high school, put there as a warning by the administration.

    Not only has my daughter learned responsible drinking at home, she has shown initiative and discipline in never driving her vehicle to any gathering where she expects to have a drink.  Instead, she takes an Uber or gets a ride from a designated driver, which is a concept the kids have embraced.

    • #52
  23. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    From a former police officer’s point of view I don’t see a problem with parent’s allowing their children to have a drink  in their own home, with parental supervision. I would not allow them to invite their friend’s over for a drink, too much liability. I was very lenient when I caught kids on a beer run. I simply made them pour the beer out onto the ground. If no one was intoxicated they got to go home with a warning. If any alcohol had been consumed they had to call a sober adult to give them a ride home because I would be liable if they got into an accident. I was not lenient if the beer was obtained by a beernap (shoplifting).

    Parents should understand that an open container in a motor vehicle cite is considered an alcohol violation, the judge might be lenient, your insurance company will not be lenient.

    I was merciless on DUII’s. I saw too much mayhem, and too many fatalities. I never caught anyone on their first DUII. All my DUII arrests involved subjects with at least 3 or more DUII convictions.

    • #53
  24. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen
    @tommeyer

    Excellent piece and superb advice, MJB. My wife and I were both fortunate enough to have parents who modeled responsible drinking habits to us and it’s something we want to pass onto our kids.

    MJBubba:I am concerned enough about the number of people who get killed in traffic crashes to favor the DUI/ DWI laws. That is one of the issues where us Social Conservatives oppose the Libertarians.

    There’s no shortage of articles arguing that it’d be better to focus penalties on reckless driving (regardless of cause) rather than BAC. While I have some sympathy for those arguments, the benefits of such a reform strike me as 85% theoretical and 15% real (essentially, they would make check-points illegal, something I’m in favor of).

    That said, I hardly think “Repeal DUI laws” as something typical of libertarians. Reason has a tag for “Drunk Driving” and — based on the headlines and descriptions — none of their 20 most recent articles on the subject call for doing away with DUI.

    • #54
  25. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    It will be good when cars are as good as horse and buggies were. Back then, have to much to drink and the horse could get you home safely. Hopefully in near future, car will be able to do same on its own.

    • #55
  26. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    The best beer or wine is still mediocre compared to that sweet sweet Coca Cola flavor hitting your pallet all nice and cool on a hot summer day.

    We have very different pallets. And the corn syrup Coke you get in the US is not nearly as good as that found elsewhere still made with sugar.

    • #56
  27. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    The best beer or wine is still mediocre compared to that sweet sweet Coca Cola flavor hitting your pallet all nice and cool on a hot summer day.

    We have very different pallets. And the corn syrup Coke you get in the US is not nearly as good as that found elsewhere still made with sugar.

    Eww… sugar Coke is never sweet enough and just has this acidic taste to it.

    • #57
  28. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I understand part of that may be because waiters have it drilled into their heads that if it’s a policeman, the restaurant will get a big fine, and the waiter will lose his/her job. But yeah…. Even when you’re trying to follow the law, tin tyrants will enforce “the law”?

    The law in New Mexico, where I was both a bartender and a police officer was that children could be served if they were with their parents but any business could absolutely refuse to serve anyone who was underage. None of the businesses I worked for or dealt with as a cop allowed it, and that’s a good thing. Parents shouldn’t be hassled for giving their kid a sip of wine or beer at home, but it should stay at home.

    I can see that viewpoint, but in the case of the European kid, it was all kind of silly to me.  Not only is it legal for him to drink at home, it’s legal for him to drink in the US with a parent.  For anyone at any other table, he could easily have been 21.  I mean, he wasn’t a toddler.

    I’m bad on this point though because I think the law is silly.

    • #58
  29. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Johnny Dubya (View Comment):
    What is taken very seriously among my daughter’s peers is drunk driving.

    Yeah.  I think it’s a change in culture that’s changed the statistics.  Not a change in the law.  Good job, though, on raising a responsible kid!!  :)

    • #59
  30. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    From a former police officer’s point of view I don’t see a problem with parent’s allowing their children to have a drink in their own home, with parental supervision. I would not allow them to invite their friend’s over for a drink, too much liability.

    Absolutely.

    • #60
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