Drinking in moderation is a talent many of us don’t acquire until well into our 30s. One thing I loved about living in Europe was how early they adapt to drinking, therefore allowing adults to appreciate the taste and consumption of alcoholic beverages with dignity and responsibility.
Moving there at 19, I missed a lot of that whole “drink until you die, party, party, party, dance on the table, pass out, kill yourself” part of life.
When I turned 21, I had the most underwhelming, quiet dinner in a trattoria on the Amalfi coast, with just me and my boyfriend and the lady sitting on a chair in the corner singing and playing guitar.
That was it.
Getting buzzed can be wonderful, but knowing your limit is mandatory. Knowing what kind of a drunk you are also is very important. If you get aggressive, then nothing beyond one or two drinks per hour should be your standard. The dramatic/ emotional drunks should be watching out, too. As much as your friends, family and co-workers adore you, nobody likes to interrupt their good time to look after someone else who went too far.
I go out a lot, and just about every weekend, I see someone who fell victim to their own damn selves, drinking too much too fast and ruining their nights (and many other people’s).
I’m irritated with how much advancement there has been in technology for there to not be a handful of apps to help people be responsible when they’re drinking.
Many people already have heard of drunk text blockers, like the Don’t Dial! app that prevents you from contacting people on a pre-determined list. But the damage from a shameful text or call isn’t even on the same chart as what could happen if you get in your car.
Some apps that have promise are not yet available in Hawaii.
StearClear USA launched an app in New Jersey in 2011 that runs similar to Uber — only you call for two drivers to take both you and your car home safely. It operates like a franchise, so until someone in Hawaii feels like investing $30,000, we will not see that anytime soon. This would be a huge step, though, as the painful truth of driving drunk is many people do it because they don’t want their car to be towed or stolen overnight.
For everyone who thinks they are fine, for everyone who lets their ego take over and assumes they can make it home, or for those who actually want to be responsible and wait before driving, I recommend BreathalEyes. For $1.99, it can save thousands of dollars, and even lives, by allowing you to test the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) of your friend’s pupils using the phone’s camera. This HGN is the equivalent of the police officer telling you to follow the pen while she shines the flashlight in your eye. The technology is founded on 40 years of research that proves the relationship of eye movement and intoxication levels.
Just about everyone has been affected by a drunk driver. Yet, still so many people don’t think they could be next. This attitude needs to change. We need to stay safe.
Christa Wittmier is “SUPERCW” on all social media. Find her on Snapchat, Soundcloud, Twitter, Vine and Instagram. By night, she is known as DJ SuperCW. By day, she is known as senior marketing director for Young’s Market Company of Hawaii. Her nightlife blog SuperCity runs every Wednesday on HonoluluPulse.com.