Oregon Magazine
   Cover


 
It Took A While, But Now
Sobriety is Welcome!

by Fred Delkin
ooo  

November, 2011 -- This writer first experienced alcohol-infused drink at the tender age of 17, and was looking old enough to buy beer for classmates despite the prohibition-inspired laws of my state of Washington birthplace.  The pattern of booze consumption became a way of life for most of my ensuiing years until May 2 of the current annum. On that fateful date, I turned the wrong way on a downtown Portland street and ran afoul of an alert police patrol.  A breathalyzer puff later, both my driving privileges and my financial solvency became severely challenged.  The new state of Oregon- mandated penalties for driving while impaired, I hereby testify, are harsh enough to get anyone's attention.
ooo 

After a required "Self-assessment Program" of seminars, I asked myself a sober question...is drinking before driving really worth it?  The answer for myself was a resounding "No!"  Now I still thoroughly enjoy parties with friends and relatives where fermented beverages abound, but stay sober, even if not piloting a conveyance.  This is not an act of social heresy, but a realization that booze is not a requisite for socialability.
ooo 
Now, if you need to hear this from another source, punch up a list of Alcoholics Anonymous chapters and you'll find a location near wherever you reside, and a group of members who will openly confide with you on how far astray strong drink or substances can lead you.
ooo 

Going way back to my college days, I became proud of the vast amount of alcohol I could consume and still function.  My tolerance for the stuff increased, but there still exists a limit as to what you can swill and not impair your motor functions.  That ol' .08 blood alcohol measurement has a proven research basis.  Since you, as an individual, cannot scientifically ascertain that measurement, saying 'no thanks' to another drink will have to suffice.
ooo 

Surely we all know the physical deterioration that can occur when one gets addicted to overuse of alcohol.  Hepatitis, weight gain and on to cirrhosis of the liver await the problem drinker.  You may never expose your body to that level of reaction, but you also need to remind yourself that serious injury or death can await those who drive while impaired.
ooo 

And in today's society, we must apply restrictions to what substances apart from alcohol that we may consume before driving.  Impairment is also a function of consuming prescription or recreational drugs.  A motor vehicle is a deadly weapon folks, when you sedate yourself from its possible mayhem.
ooo 

We end this brief lecture by again stating that mantra...seatbelts and sobriety before grasping wheel or handlebars.
ooo 
ooo 






© 2011 Oregon Magazine