The other day I was sitting outside during my lunch break (around 12:30pm) near where my workplace's parking lot exits out into the street. A car pulled out of the parking lot and stopped before driving into the street. In the car were two men - both of them with cans of beer in their hands.
I was appalled. Some people drink and drive. It's not a crime to have one beer or so and then hop in your car, right (or is it? One beer wouldn't put me over the legal limit...)? But drinking while driving seems ludicrous (they were drinking tall cans of Steel Reserve, too - the equivalent of two crappy beers in one) . In the middle of the day! They were asking for trouble.
I was so flabbergasted that I didn't have time to get the license plate number and report them to the police (which I should have done, right? I don't want dudes drinking while driving around my neighborhood. I ride my bike through this neighborhood). But it got me thinking - part of the reason I was so surprised to see this was that it was at lunchtime.
Whenever I'm at or near the gas station in my neighborhood in the afternoon I see people (usually scruffy-looking men) buying and/or drinking beer in the middle of the day. Go to a city park on a normal afternoon and you will see people (again, usually scruffy-looking men) drinking and/or passed out drunk in the park. This is both illegal and almost universally looked down upon.
The questions are:
- Why is drinking in the early afternoon, even if just a beer or two, unacceptable while getting smashed at a party or the bar at 10pm is fine?
- Does it matter whether it's a well-dressed businessman having a drinking lunch in a restaurant vs. a scruffy dude buying a beer from the gas station and drinking in the park?
- Why is driving after having had a couple beers sometimes OK but driving while drinking not OK?