Are you assuming that this headline comes out of Utah?
Well, you are wrong, this is a recent headline out of the very alcohol imbibing state of Massachusetts.
The reason I’m profiling this is to let the folks of Utah know that they can ignore the naysayers who think the alcohol laws of Utah are too parochial and are a product of a stiff and frigid church who run everything in Utah.
It’s true that as much as half of the state of Utah proclaims their Mormoninity. Probably, half as many of those don’t drink alcohol. But perhaps what the Mormon alcohol drinkers understand that other folks don’t is that like any dangerous substance or weapon, folks know that it is worth a little planning and perhaps driving to get it.
Folks who rail on the supposed strict liquor laws of Utah just haven’t been around much. In my hometown far from Utah, in one of those “yeehaw” states, you know, the states where you start drinking when you are about 14, you had to drive out of the county to buy a six pack of beer. The county was DRY. A person had to drive to a non-dry county to buy alcohol. It was 27 miles from my house and 37 miles from my college house. The largest city closest to my house, still not in Utah, required a club membership to purchase hard liquor in restaurants. So, the regulation of alcohol varies nationwide, mostly because it is a killer. That knowledge is not restricted to Utah.
Another state that has state run liquor stores? Pennsylvania.
Before I joined the church, I enjoyed the state run liquor stores in Utah. Prices were very cheap compared to the liquor stores I was accustomed to in my Yeehaw state. The variety of wines and beers was also impressive. And, every restaurant served beer and wine so at no time did I feel that I was being oppressed. As I sat at Utah happy hours listening to my drinking companions complain about the scarcity of alcohol, I wondered what boozing state they came from and the rates of alcoholism it enjoyed.
Believe you me, the motivation and agenda to push to expand liquor proliferation is not about freedom, or choice or any such thing, it is always about money. Political forces who want to increase access to alcohol are ONLY concerned about tax revenue and not about public safety. (Marijuans is coming next!) According to the nih.gov alcohol related deaths account for almost 90,000 deaths per year making it the 4th leading preventable cause of death in the US. The actual financial and human devastation alcoholism wreaks on families and individuals is not even quantifiable.
I spent many years as a cocktail waitress and bartender. The money is excellent. The business is mercenary. I witnessed so much sorrow, compulsion, anger, and violence from patrons. Nightly I would witness a man come in for one drink on his way home and then stay until closing and have to pay a $100 tab. Folks that had no job would somehow find the money to blow on liquor. I saw wives come in looking for their husbands, I saw husbands leaving with women not their wives. That stop on the way home for one drink is rarely one drink. And what men do as a group without wives present is heart wrenching. Even couples who drink together, once they hit a certain point of enebriation do and say the meanest things.
A few truths about alcohol:
- Other women and other men look more attractive after a few drinks. As a bartender I overheard numerous conversations from guys at bars who made terrible insulting remarks about the looks of women in the joint only to leave with them later on in the night. Remember, its not about love.
- Women show up to drink with friends with no intention of hooking up with men only to find themselves happily leaving with men they just met after enough cocktails.
- Alcohol is expensive, especially in bars. If a couple is going out to a nice bar, expect to drop $200 easy on quality liquour.
- Alcohol will convince you that the job interview you have in the morning isn’t worth leaving a party for.
- Drunk people don”t understand the value of money.
- Drunk people don’t understand the concept of time.
- Drunk people, thanks to the science of alcohol on the body, can’t make reasonable decisions. Don’t ever let drunk people watch your children, drive a car, cut your hair, dive in a pool, have control of the remote…
As for the evils of Happy Hour rush. The Happy Hour no doubt promotes drinking. As a waitress or a bartender, you give the customer warning when happy hour is almost over so they can load up on drinks. At the office happy hour, that secretary who normally only orders one drink, will order 4 at a good happy hour. Remember, a happy hour is like a good sale and who wants to pass up a good sale?