Every time I think about the proposal to extend the drinking cutoff to 2 a.m., the same thing comes to mind.
You see, a law such as this one does not affect only the person who is consuming, but every potential person on the road in their path. The simple fact is that many people just don’t drink as responsibly as they should.
Speaking from personal experience, I know when I was in high school in Houston, I stayed out a little later than I should, sometimes until far after last call, which in Houston, was 2 a.m.
My mother always pleaded with me, that if I absolutely had to drive, not to do it between the hours of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., as she feared for my safety, specifically due to the bars letting out.
She also feared that during those hours, my likelihood of being stopped by an officer was elevated, once again due to the drunk drivers. While this might seem negative at first, the positive aspects of this situation are worthy.
First and foremost, this law gives a certain time frame during the night where the drunk driving will occur. This allows those, like those in high school staying out too late like I did, to plan ahead and know when it is the least safe time to drive.
Also, by having last call at 2 a.m., it helps to assure that police officers will have a time that they can patrol and catch those that would break the law and endanger sober drivers on the road that did decide to take the risk.
By maximizing the time of officers, we can maximize our safety on the road, which is always a good thing.
Finally, we might wonder why 2 a.m. is the best time for last call. Again, I will draw on personal experience here. What we need to understand is that it’s already the accepted time for last call in most places already.
Also, unlike a 12 a.m. cutoff, because 2 a.m. is the universal cutoff, no one will be heading to another bar or another party in all likelihood.
However, there are some like my former stepfather, whom I will call John, that are not responsible. The 2 a.m. last call sets a cut off point, which while not appreciated, is necessary.
In John’s case, he had a job that required him to be there early in the morning, and knowing his alcoholism like I do, I can safely say that if there were no law, he would have stayed in the bars until he ran out of money.
This likely would have happened fairly quickly given that he would have most assuredly lost his job. What we need to understand is there are many people out there with a problem much like John’s, and this law helps them deal with their problem and still maintain a normal day life.
For those who drive during the night hours and are not drunk, this law also helps them keep safe, gauge risks on the road, and helps police maximize their time and effort.
For those of us that are responsible, and could handle a more lax law or simply no law at all, we should be willing to sacrifice a bit of our own fun for the greater good; for those with the addiction of alcoholism, and for those who just want to make it home safely.