Drinking under the limit

I’ve decided to write this opinion column while drinking under the limit. I’ve got no problem with the new limit. It still allows for more than I’d ever drink and drive so the old rules were a joke.

In theory I can now only have three standard drinks before I get behind the wheel. It might even be more than three, but let’s call it three to be extra safe.

So, three beers, that’s what I had before I got behind my desk and started driving this keyboard.

I’m not a big guy. My tolerance is probably less compared to others who can soak the stuff up. They might feel hard done by when it comes to the new limit. I don’t see how it’s a bad thing myself.

Anything more than two drinks shifts my brain into a different gear. For example, here I am three beers down and already I love you all. The whole city. Yes, I’m a cheap date.

I’m also noticing that a few drinks is all it takes to make me type a lot louder than usual. That’s the thing with alcohol, for some reason it makes people shout a lot. A night on the town will leave your ears ringing.

I’m older than I used to be, and these days there’s very little I enjoy about being up all night, surrounded by thumping music and people who are yelling all of their sentences even though none of them can hear each other. I much prefer to have actual conversations and, as a bonus, wake up fresh the next day.

I’ve suddenly veered into a different topic but that’s kind of the way it is when you’re writing under the influence.

Not that I’m influenced. I can totally handle my drink and I’m still fine to drive. I know I’m still fine because the new law says I’m still fine.

I’d never drive on three beers though. Never. Even though I’m feeling totally confident that I’d be safe behind the wheel.

Just like I’m feeling totally confident about writing this column. This is going to be the best column ever. I know it because, admittedly just a teeny weeny bit giddy after my three drinks, I can promise you that I’m a really careful writer. My judgement isn’t affected at all, officer. In fact I’m pretty sure alcohol makes me a whole lot funnier. I never go for the cheap shot and I always fix my misteaks.

Ha ha, see what I did there? Genius.

Alcohol can turn into a problem because so many of us like it so much. I’m not a big guy, so three or four drinks makes me a cheap date. (Did I mention that already? I can’t remember but it probably doesn’t matter if I type it loudly enough.)

The point is, if there is a point, which I’m pretty sure there is somewhere, that a tougher drinking limit can’t possibly be a bad thing. Who, really, is going to argue otherwise?

Hands up everyone who thinks the new limit is unfair. Critics say it won’t stop the really bad offenders. I say this is the long game we’re playing. It’s like trying to stamp out smoking.

Those poor smokers, forced outside into the fresh air to have their cancer. Over time our public tolerance toward smoking has completely changed and we should view this tighter drink limit in the same light. It’s one more incremental step towards adjusting our drinking culture. Drink and drive are two words, like beer and milk, that you just shouldn’t put in the same glass. Sentence. You know what I mean.

Really, why complain? If you’re a woman you can still have a couple of drinks and drive home. If you’re a guy you can still have three. And three’s plenty enough for me as you can see.

First published in Bay of Plenty Times 8 November 2013. Reproduced with permission.