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Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
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I'm sure many of you have read my discussion in this section of the board titled "My legal battle". Regardless of how my case turns out I've pout a lot of thought into the issue of drinking and driving. Here are a few of the things I've been thinking about.

“Don’t drink and Drive”, “Friends don’t let friends drink and drive”, “Designated driver”, “Just say NO”.

All these Anti-Drunk Driving messages have been ineffective in changing the behavior of this campaign's target audience. In their mind, these messages are directed at "Drunk Drivers" not at them. To them Drunk equals behavior that is out of control or noticeably impaired, and when they drive after consuming alcoholic beverages, they consider themselves "buzzed" not drunk. The goal should be to get people to begin to talk about and recognize the dangers of "buzzed" driving. The goal should be to get people to stop driving buzzed.

The point I’m trying to make with this is that all these campaigns and harsher punishments can only help so much. One of the worse effect of Alcohol is that prevents people from having the ability to make the crucial decision of weather they should get behind the wheel or not. To ask someone who is drunk, or buzzed, if they are all right to drive home is a waist of time.

What we really need to do is educate people at the age where they are legally able to drink. Most people, myself included, felt that two-12oz. Beers wouldn’t be enough to affect your ability to drive. I now know differently. Since I learned this lesson I can arrange my way home before hand if I decide to drink alcoholic beverages. I can make these arrangements before I leave the house when my sense of judgment on the matter isn’t affected.

Right or wrong, we live in a society deeply rooted by alcohol. I’m not suggesting that everyone drinks. I’m only saying that it’s a big part of America. It’s hard to find a place where people gather to have a good time that doesn’t serve alcoholic drinks. We toast the guest of honor. We go out to bars and dance clubs. We unwind after a hard day of work or an emotional experience. When someone says they need to “go out and unwind” it usually involves going somewhere to drink. I’m not suggesting that this describes everyone. But it’s a very big part of our culture.
Much more can be done about the problem. We have enough people against drinking and driving to pass on the message. On top of that we need to make use of modern technology and even a bit of imagination.

Designated Driver

This is obviously a very good idea. A group of friends go out for a night of conversation, laughs and dancing. One person in this group doesn’t drink any alcoholic beverages so he or she will be the only sober one in the group. This person will then drive everyone home at the end of the evening.

It’s a great idea and if more people would do it this way then many lives could be saved. Let’s add a little imagination to this situation. Let’s face it, not everyone wants to be the designated driver. They may want to “unwind” themselves. I’m not saying this is how everyone unwinds but the point is there may not be a person in this group that wants that job. So, why not make it a job someone would want to have? How about the group draws from the hat to determine who will be the designated driver? Who ever end up with the job is “The winner”. Why do I say they are a winner? Because everyone else in that group. All the people he or she is going to end up driving home are going to give the winner a gift. Now what was once a job no one in the group wanted is suddenly a prize to win. They aren’t going to be drinking with their friends but they’ll have a mini birthday with presents from people who know them and know what kinds of things they like. And one of the rules is if they take a drink then they don’t get the gifts.

Now let’s look at some modern technology that can be used to help solve the problem. I a coin operated Breathalyzer machines in a bar once. You put a dollar in the machine and test your alcohol level. Why not make it mandatory for bars to have these available. Someone can test himself or herself and if they are over the limit they can take the time to sober up or call a cab. In the place where they are drinking is where they need help making the decision because alcohol affects their ability to make that decision. Bar tenders can also test people to decide if they should serve them again. If they don’t pass the test they can’t have another drink.

The point is there is much more we can do about this matter. We just need to use our imagination and put things into effect. Obviously the best solution is to simply not drink at all or to plan ahead so even if you do drink you’ll be able to get home safely. Unfortunately not everyone is doing this. So something else has to be done.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
johnnymystic
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"Now let’s look at some modern technology that can be used to help solve the problem. I a coin operated Breathalyzer machines in a bar once. You put a dollar in the machine and test your alcohol level. Why not make it mandatory for bars to have these available. Someone can test himself or herself and if they are over the limit they can take the time to sober up or call a cab."

Okay, a bonus point here is more people would gain employment because the taxi cab service would boom dramatically where ever 'booze' is served...which in some places could be a bad thing depending on what city you live in...think NY City and those already over abundant aggresive yellow cars.

"Bar tenders can also test people to decide if they should serve them again. If they don’t pass the test they can’t have another drink."

Harharhar!!! This Jaxon will never happen, if it did every bar in the world would go under and wouldn't that be a bad thing...I mean whats wrong with perpetuating the myth that booze isn't harmful. I mean come on, shouldn't the big booze companies be able to reap thier profits from the silly sheep who buy into this kind of propaganda???? Who needs a liver anyways!!????

johnny
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JoeJoe
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Myrtle Beach
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It's simple ... bars should not be allowed parking lots. There is no reason to take a car to a bar ever, even designated drivers think they can drink a beer or two early in the night.

JoeJoe
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RandyStewart
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Texas (USA)
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A comedienne, on comedy central, mentioned her friend's car being rigged with a breathalyzer gizmo. The car won't start if the device detects any alcohol on the driver's breathe.

She said it be great if her home phone operated the same way so she wouldn't be able to make phone calls, shootin' her mouth off, while drunk, that she'd later regret.
Daegs
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Quote:
It's simple ... bars should not be allowed parking lots. There is no reason to take a car to a bar ever, even designated drivers think they can drink a beer or two early in the night.


Factually incorrect, myself and every single DD I know when we alternate doesn't even have a single drink the entire night execpt soda or water.... so there IS a point to having a car.

Secondly, you can have one beer early in the night and be fine. Hell, you can have a single beer RIGHT before you get into the car and be fine unless you are a sub-100 pound with an genetic intolerance for beer....

I'm not saying you should drink and drive, but really has anyone been even minorly impaired by having a single beer?
irossall
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It is my impression that most of society really doesn't care that much about drinking and driving until it directly affects them.
A lady I know did not lose her license until her 3rd DWI, prior to that all she did was spend one night in jail and a fine. She only lost her license for 6 months and when she got her 4th DWI she finally had to spend 3 days in jail, complete a class on alcohol and driving and did not get her license back for a year.
In Missouri they have drive through liquor stores where you not only can buy packaged liquor but drinks with straws in them for immediate consumption.
I went to the La Mirada Drive In Theatre in southern California a few years ago and was surprised that you could buy tap beer at the snack bar.
These few examples tell me just how serious we are about drinking and driving.
Iven Smile
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Martin Joseph
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I recently spent nine months studying in the U.S. on an exchange program and was surprised at the attitude towards drinking generally and also drink driving that I encountered.
The main thing I couldn't get my head around was why bars were often so out of the way. The only way to get there was with some form of transport. There was a great one called the Moanin Dove which stocked beers from all over the world. Me and a mate had a great afternoon there sampling them and caught the bus back to campus. The parking lot however was full. This isn't a bar you visit for a coke or half a busch light.
Another time I went to see a show in a neighbouring town. I caught the bus there but missed the last returning bus when I was finished at 11pm. Not a problem, I'll go down to the taxi rank and head home. It was closed up. Why on earth would a taxi company shut two hours before last orders are called at the bar?
Just strange cultural differences it took me a long time to understand or at least get used to.

Martin.
Skip Way
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In a free society, one cannot effectively regulate another person's behavior. One can set limits and penalties...but, without effective enforcement of the limits and consistent application of the penalties...something our namby-pamby courts are loathe to do...these may as well not exist.

For 22 years I targeted two prime crimes without mercy or tolerance...drunk driving and any form of child abuse or molestation. I never gave either one a break. I meticulously crossed my "t's" and dotted my "i's" to leave no loophole to wriggle through. And yet, the judges...usually with a flask of 90 proof conveniently stashed beneath each robe...would find some justification for a slap and a pass. I spent that same 22 years pulling bodies from smoking wreckage, pondering the frequent survival of the drunken fool who caused the accident, and wishing evilly that just one of the fatalities would be a close relative of a liberal, break-dealing judge. Sadly, fate rarely works this way.

Only the drinker can police him or her self. To lay this obligation on anyone else's shoulders is a slight to society. The information is out there...but few look or care. I've seen countless specials in the newspaper, telly and radio regarding drinking and limits around Christmas, New Years, Independence Day, Oktoberfest and Carnivale/Mardis Gras. Centuries old dram laws make the bar owners responsible for allowing severe levels of intoxication...and any harm that arises as a result. And still, hundreds of innocents die each year at the hands of indifferent drunk drivers.

In my opinion, a person caught DUI first offense should lose their license for at least six months and be required to attend an alcohol-related safe driving class. This should be a learning experience. A second offense should carry a heavy fine, loss of license for up to 1 year and forfeiture of the car being driven...with a return to the safe driving class. A third offense should be treated as a Class B felony with a mandatory 5 year prison sentence and permanent revocation of all driving privileges. Any fatality as a result of drunk driving should be mercilessly treated as a Second Degree Homicide. Drunk drivers take more lives than firearms. They should be confronted with disdain and serious enforcement.

The goal of our courts should be the protection of the drunk from himself and of the public from the drunks...rather than one gin-swilling peer overlooking the deadly and antisocial conduct of another. No mercy.

My opinion.
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kihei kid
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Dog House
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Quote:
On 2005-08-07 22:01, Jaxon wrote:
The goal should be to get people to begin to talk about and recognize the dangers of "buzzed" driving. The goal should be to get people to stop driving buzzed.

I agree.
Quote:
weather they should get behind the wheel or not.

As someone who was a truck driver for 10 years I can flat out tell you MANY people should not be behind the wheel of an automobile, intoxicated or otherwise. I personally know people that could drive better inebriated than others that drive sober, and lets not even get into the cell phone debate.
Quote:
Most people, myself included, felt that two-12oz. Beers wouldn’t be enough to affect your ability to drive.

This depends entirely on the person.
Quote:
How about the group draws from the hat to determine who will be the designated driver? Who ever end up with the job is “The winner”. Why do I say they are a winner? Because everyone else in that group. All the people he or she is going to end up driving home are going to give the winner a gift.

I like this idea. To expand on it, if it is a regular group of people that goes out “the winner” is removed from the hat next time and does not have to do the driving. The other thing I like about some DD’s is that I have seen them stop or slow down their friends at the bar.
Quote:
coin operated Breathalyzer machines in a bar

Not a bad idea.
Quote:
Bar tenders can also test people to decide if they should serve them again. If they don’t pass the test they can’t have another drink.

Is this before or after the 6’ 2” 255 pound palooka that’s a bad drunk (as opposed to a fun one) decides to pull me out from behind the bar, then proceed to play jingle bells on my face. Ron, trust me on this one, this is not a good idea, as a bartender it is my job and should continue to be to make sure someone is not WASTED, not give them a breathalyzer like the police department.

Also what do you do when you work at a really busy bar? I have and sometimes still do work extremely busy bars, there is hardly anytime to breathe much less make a drink. An easy way to circumvent this would be for someone else to buy the drink, compound this with a lot of bartenders are “feeling it” on the job and some get downright plastered, or they serve that drink to their friend or the big tipper.

IMHO, most importantly it is up to the individual not the bartender to make his or her own decisions; people need to be held accountable for themselves.
In loving memory of Hughie Thomasson 1952-2007.

You brought something beautiful to this world, you touched my heart, my soul and my life. You will be greatly missed.

Until we meet again “my old friend”.
kihei kid
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Quote:
On 2005-08-08 08:23, Skip Way wrote:
In a free society, one cannot effectively regulate another person's behavior. One can set limits and penalties...but, without effective enforcement of the limits and consistent application of the penalties...something our namby-pamby courts are loathe to do...these may as well not exist.

For 22 years I targeted two prime crimes without mercy or tolerance...drunk driving and any form of child abuse or molestation. I never gave either one a break. I meticulously crossed my "t's" and dotted my "i's" to leave no loophole to wriggle through. And yet, the judges...usually with a flask of 90 proof conveniently stashed beneath each robe...would find some justification for a slap and a pass. I spent that same 22 years pulling bodies from smoking wreckage, pondering the frequent survival of the drunken fool who caused the accident, and wishing evilly that just one of the fatalities would be a close relative of a liberal, break-dealing judge. Sadly, fate rarely works this way.

Only the drinker can police him or her self. To lay this obligation on anyone else's shoulders is a slight to society. The information is out there...but few look or care. I've seen countless specials in the newspaper, telly and radio regarding drinking and limits around Christmas, New Years, Independence Day, Oktoberfest and Carnivale/Mardis Gras. Centuries old dram laws make the bar owners responsible for allowing severe levels of intoxication...and any harm that arises as a result. And still, hundreds of innocents die each year at the hands of indifferent drunk drivers.

In my opinion, a person caught DUI first offense should lose their license for at least six months and be required to attend an alcohol-related safe driving class. This should be a learning experience. A second offense should carry a heavy fine, loss of license for up to 1 year and forfeiture of the car being driven...with a return to the safe driving class. A third offense should be treated as a Class B felony with a mandatory 5 year prison sentence and permanent revocation of all driving privileges. Any fatality as a result of drunk driving should be mercilessly treated as a Second Degree Homicide. Drunk drivers take more lives than firearms. They should be confronted with disdain and serious enforcement.

The goal of our courts should be the protection of the drunk from himself and of the public from the drunks...rather than one gin-swilling peer overlooking the deadly and antisocial conduct of another. No mercy.

My opinion.

I like it.
In loving memory of Hughie Thomasson 1952-2007.

You brought something beautiful to this world, you touched my heart, my soul and my life. You will be greatly missed.

Until we meet again “my old friend”.
Cliffg37
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This whole thread is a wonderful example of a much larger problem that is plaguing this country, and probably most of the world.

I don't mean to downplay drunk driving, it is ablsolutly a problem, but the real problem in this country is "responsibility". we live in a world where people would rather pass the "R" word onto someone else. I have seen someone ask to soend a night on a couch because he drank more than he planned. I have seen someone walk down the strret, staggeringly, rather than drive his car, but these are few and far between. I have also seen someone polich off four beers in one hour and get straight into his car, even after I offered him a ride. I chose to follow him part way just in case.

If people would take responsibility for their actions, many problems in this country would go away.

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magicalaurie
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Ontario, Canada
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Quote:
On 2005-08-08 08:23, Skip Way wrote:
I spent that same 22 years pulling bodies from smoking wreckage


I think education needs to start in schools. I don't drink (ALCOHOL!- saw that coming Smile ). Never did in school, either. However, I remember a school assembly once in which an ambulance driver spoke and showed pictures taken at scenes similar to the ones Skip described above. Photos depicting the charred bodies of kids that were our age, still sitting in their cars. Traumatic viewing for me, BIGTIME. But I wasn't one who drank, who would drink and drive. How those who DID drink AND drive on occasion were affected, I don't know. But they didn't appear to be as shook up as I was. It's about personal responsibility, for sure. And some have raised the relevant point that dangerous driving can occur whether a driver is drunk or sober. People need to value their own lives and have consideration for the safety of others, too. How to get people to do that, I don't know. I can only make myself be responsible. I wish others would realize that life is precious, people are MORTAL. Accidents WILL happen. Many, if not ALL, can be prevented if people will have RESPECT for life. My opinion.
ed rhodes
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Rhode Island
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Quote:
On 2005-08-08 02:47, Daegs wrote:
Quote:
It's simple ... bars should not be allowed parking lots. There is no reason to take a car to a bar ever, even designated drivers think they can drink a beer or two early in the night.


Factually incorrect, myself and every single DD I know when we alternate doesn't even have a single drink the entire night execpt soda or water.... so there IS a point to having a car.

Secondly, you can have one beer early in the night and be fine. Hell, you can have a single beer RIGHT before you get into the car and be fine unless you are a sub-100 pound with an genetic intolerance for beer....

I'm not saying you should drink and drive, but really has anyone been even minorly impaired by having a single beer?


Me... and Bruce Wayne! "Hey! One drink and I'm flying!"
"All the world's a stage, but the play is badly cast!" - Oscar Wilde
Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
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Yea, I'm sure not al of my ideas would work but hey. We can't find things to help unless it's discussed and tried out. That's one of the reasons I wanted to start this discussion.

Like everyone else has stated, it really is a matter of responsibility. However the problem effect everyone in society. Not everyone who is doing it is a bad person. It's always the wrong thing to do but my point is good people do wrong things too. My biggest issue is that the people who are left with the responsibility are in no shape to make the decision. Only those who plan ahead can actually make the right decision in many cases. If they are drunk they don't care about the consequences.

This is why I feel education at an age before or right at the time they may start to drink. So I agree with magicalaurie comments. One of my ex-step sons talk me about how they recreated an accident in the parking lot of their school. He said they heard a loud crash and where taken out there to see the actors playing the part of accident victims covered in blood. That's just one things I know is being done on this matter. I'm not saying it works for everyone, but at least they are trying.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Payne
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Quote:
On 2005-08-08 09:51, Cliffg37 wrote:

If people would take responsibility for their actions, many problems in this country would go away.



I heartily agree, If people, corporations and institutions would act in a far more socially responsible manner this world would be a better place.
However in the case of driving under the influence this isn't likely to happen as alcohol impairs ones judgment, or at least so I've been told.
The best laid plans of acting socially responsible or doing the right thing go out the window once a persons got a couple of drinks under their belt. I've met peple in this condition who believe that they actually drive better in this condition though personally I doubt that this is true.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Vandy Grift
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Payne,

Then how about people being responsible enough to know that if they are driving to not start drinking at all?
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Payne
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Quote:
On 2005-08-09 11:56, Vandy Grift wrote:
Payne,

Then how about people being responsible enough to know that if they are driving to not start drinking at all?


Yes that would be the optimal solution but as they say "the best laid plans". you can start out with the best of intentions but succumb to that first drink, and then another and before you know it your judgement is impared and your carefully laid out scenario is out the window.
Peer pressure plays a big part in this as well and many people are offended if you refuse their offer of them buying you a drink. I know that few times I have been in a bar that I've been looked at ascance when I refuse a drink that has been offered to me.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Jerrine
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Get serious about the fact that cars weigh tons and go fast. This creates inertia that maims and KILLS.
Does any serious thinker believe that alcohol and driving mix? No hands on that one, good.
How's about drive drunk and we charge you with assault with deadly weapon, first offence. I'd rather have a drunk guy wandering around swinging a knife or a gun than driving. The drunk behind the wheel blends in. They drive crappy like everybody else right up to the moment they get real creative and cross into your lane. I understand Skip's call for those to "lose their license for at least six months and be required to attend an alcohol-related safe driving class." I know of too many people that don't feel compelled to have a license to drive however. Some of them are even U.S. citizens.

I got another great idea. Speed limits are limits to speed, imagine that. Don't have the stats handy but plenty cost of death and accidents is result of simply going too fast. Can't grasp that concept? Unable to set an alarm to get up in enough time to get ready and get to work on time? One of those special people that are allowed to ignore speed limits and also get to park in the fire lane? How's about a minimum 1 week incarceration to allow you time to rethink your social status. Give you and your boss something to discuss when you get back. Ticketing drivers is a joke and is used mainly for city revenue. Must be true otherwise there would be no need to "Crack Down" on speeders. They would be in a constant state of "Crack Down". A warning to all. In the city of Euless, Texas the rules of physics have been suspended. A stock 1989 Chevy S-10 pickup can reach a speed of 50 MPH from a dead stop in 1 tenth of a mile. I know I was driving said vehicle and was convicted after being threatened by prosecution first. See in Euless they have a neat little deal going on. The city gives you a ticket, if you plead guilty then they fine you and you walk away. If you don't plead guilty then you are found guilty regardless of facts and science, they fine you, and the information is reported to the state for insurance purposes. A sword of Damocles if you will.

If DPS really cared about safety no one would have stories like, "A lady I know did not lose her license until her 3rd DWI, prior to that all she did was spend one night in jail and a fine. She only lost her license for 6 months and when she got her 4th DWI she finally had to spend 3 days in jail, complete a class on alcohol and driving and did not get her license back for a year." thanks irossall
Cliffg37
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I forget which european country it is (someone can hopefully help) but their driving under the influence law is simple. Over the limti, six months in jail, no if ands or but about it.

I think it might be Sweeden, but their drunk driving problem all but vanished in less than a month when they instituted this law.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Vandy Grift
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Quote:
On 2005-08-09 13:09, Payne wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-08-09 11:56, Vandy Grift wrote:
Payne,

Then how about people being responsible enough to know that if they are driving to not start drinking at all?


Yes that would be the optimal solution but as they say "the best laid plans". you can start out with the best of intentions but succumb to that first drink, and then another and before you know it your judgement is impared and your carefully laid out scenario is out the window.
Peer pressure plays a big part in this as well and many people are offended if you refuse their offer of them buying you a drink. I know that few times I have been in a bar that I've been looked at ascance when I refuse a drink that has been offered to me.


Payne, I do agree with you about the loss of judgement. All I'm saying is that it's not an impossible, Catch-22 situation. If I go somewhere and I have my car keys then I don't start drinking. that's all. If I don't take that first drink, I don't have to worry about that drink taking a drink, and then that drink taking me. That's where the responsibility comes in.

Peer Pressure Schmeer Pressure. that's where responsibilty comes in again. If you cannot do what is right and responsible because you can't handle the pressure someone else may put on you...Then you really have no responsibilty at all. And I don't think that's grounds for a free pass.
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
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