Written by Tonja Bagwell
February has been a very busy month for celebratory alcohol consumption. Even though the holidays in November and December generated this type of drinking it seems to have subsided in January. Maybe this was due to the optimistic attitudes of those who vowed to change their behaviors when they made New Year’s resolutions. Maybe some people were exhausted from celebratory drinking between Thanksgiving Eve and New Year’s Eve. In some cases, a decrease could have been the result a lack of money due to overspending during the holidays.
Now, let’s think about why alcohol consumption has spiked in February. I will venture to say that it started on February 5, 2017, the day of Super Bowl LI. Some people think of Sunday as the Sabbath and will try to limit or eliminate drinking. This is thrown out the window during the holy grail of football season better known as Super Bowl Sunday. Traditionally, this is a huge drinking day.
Alcoholic beverage advertisements increase tremendously to affect the drinking habits of sports fans. Many fans gathered at bars, taverns, pubs, breweries, lounges and other public venues to watch the game. The selection of alcoholic beverages was a factor for some fans who were deciding where to watch the game. After all, alcoholic beverages make it more of a celebratory event. It appeared that some alcohol-serving establishments were ordering more of and preserving certain alcoholic beverages they seemed to have known would be popular.
Other fans gathered at homes and other venues where Super Bowl party hosts supplied alcoholic beverages and edibles. Then, there were fans who were fortunate enough to be in Houston, Texas to watch the game and entertainment live. Whether fans were in Houston or elsewhere, law enforcement throughout the nation anticipated the drunk driving that occurred afterward. A multitude of DUI arrests took place after Super Bowl LI, making the celebration costlier than the price of game tickets and/or alcoholic beverage purchases.
The next celebratory drinking event was on Sunday, February 12, 2017. The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was in Los Angeles, California. Celebrities are fairly similar to non-celebrities when it comes to drinking and partying. It might appear that they have more of a problem with alcohol (and drugs) because they are in the spotlight.
John Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen made Grammy Awards headlines for being falling down drunk. Most of us will never know how many non-famous husbands were picking up their intoxicated wives. Rihanna was seen drinking from a bejeweled flask that most would assume was filled with alcohol. How many of you non-famous people drink from flasks or have witnessed someone else doing it?
For those who could not attend the awards ceremony or parties in Los Angeles, they gathered at awards watching events at venues near them. Just like the celebrities, non-celebrity people gathered, talked, laughed, cried, ate, partied, and drank alcoholic beverages as they watched the wins and losses from the music industry. Alcohol does not know if its drinker is rich and famous or poor and non-famous. If too much is consumed, intoxication is the usual outcome.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 was Valentine’s Day, another celebratory drinking occasion. As I drove home after a Valentine’s Day dinner, I noticed an abundance of law enforcement officers. During a stretch of approximately 40 minutes and approximately 34 miles, I saw six patrol vehicles. The first one was hiding along an unlit area parked on the grass. Then, I saw blue lights flashing several times. Four drivers had been pulled over at various points along my 40-minute route. Hopefully, all four drivers were sober. The last patrol car was parked in a darkened area waiting for his chance to stop an unsuspecting driver who may or may not be the drunk driver the officer may have hoped to catch.
It appears that law enforcement is more aware of occasions when people drink and know they are likely to drive afterward. If there is a celebratory occasion, they know alcohol consumption will be included. Their solution is to increase their numbers on the roads when they know the number of drunk drivers on the roads will increase. Law enforcement officers on the roads will probably never outnumber drunk drivers on the roads. However, the ratio of officers on the roads before, during and after celebratory drinking events has been increasing enough to stop a large percentage of drunk drivers.
Questions & Thoughts to Ponder:
- Have you participated in or plan to participate in celebratory drinking this month?
- Do you think that you drank more alcohol during November and December and slacked off during January?
- Do you look forward to occasions that will allow you to drink alcohol and justify it as being part of a celebration?
I’m interested in reading your answers to the Questions & Thoughts to Ponder. Please leave comments about this article and other articles posted on Bagwell’s Book Blog. Don’t forget to subscribe and/or follow me.