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Drinking and Driving with children...

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Now I realize that title sounds really super-charged or something, but I'd really like to hear opinions on this one. I do drink occasionally, but DH abstains so it's not something we'd likely have to deal with while out somewhere.

What do you think about parents drinking while, say, out to dinner with their kids, when one of them *has* to drive home? Now I don't mean drinking to the point of getting wasted... that should be a no-brainer. I mean having a couple of drinks, or even one maybe.

We go out to eat once a week to a restaurant, and I always see families eating where both parents are drinking (wine, beer, etc.) Obviously they aren't getting 'drunk' but enjoying a drink with their dinner.

DH thinks that by 'drinking and driving' no matter how much they are drinking, they are setting a bad example for the kids. Did I mention he doesn't drink?? I'm not really sure what I think so I'd like to hear other's opinions.
post #2 of 42
Anything under the legal limit requires you to know YOUR limit (some people can be under the limit and still "tipsy").

Anything over the legal limit and you have no business driving on public roads, let alone with a child IN your car. Period!

I say that as person who is vehemently against drunk driving, even after "just one drink", because I was nearly killed by a drunk driver. I have a zero tolerance policy.
post #3 of 42
I agree with your DH.
post #4 of 42
DH is more buzzed by a good swish with Listerine than he is from one beer. So if he drinks a beer, I have no trouble with him driving us home.

Frame of reference: 1 beer to a 280 lb muscular man does not a drunk man make.

I, on the other hand, am seeing double after a glass of wine, so I don't drink...anything...if I have to drive.

Everyone has a different tolerance level, which is important to realize.
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
Frame of reference: 1 beer to a 280 lb muscular man does not a drunk man make.

I, on the other hand, am seeing double after a glass of wine, so I don't drink...anything...if I have to drive.

Everyone has a different tolerance level, which is important to realize.
Well this is what I tried to explain to DH (who does/did have some alcohol issues in his own family, which is why he doesn't drink in the first place)

His problem is that when the kids get older, he finds it hypocritical to preach to them about NOT drinking and driving when they've grown up watching you do it yourself.

I do agree with the tolerance level thing - I have a very high tolerance, one or two glasses of wine isn't much to me at all. So I would feel ok driving with that. DH says that it's not so much about tolerance but setting an example (for the record, he's fine with adults drinking where they don't have to drive, like at their house, as long as they don't get wasted around kids)

I guess it's more about trusting your kids when they get older (and other adults for that matter) to *know* their limitations. My ex was a heavy drinker and he would have pounded 20 beers and insisted that he was ok and could drive (not a chance)
post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by apple_dumpling View Post
His problem is that when the kids get older, he finds it hypocritical to preach to them about NOT drinking and driving when they've grown up watching you do it yourself.
I subscribe to the "let them see you be responsible about alcohol as opposed to strictly forbidding it" theory. And that goes for driving. I don't think it's hypocritical to be against drinking and driving and then have a drink at dinner and drive home. I think it's hypocritical to be against DRUNK driving, and then 6 drinks with dinner and drive home.

I would rather have my child see me have ONE drink and then make the conscious effort to stop because I have to drive, then to never be exposed at all. The latter means they have no experience with how to act responsibly when drinking, and I think the influence we have over our children while they grow up is stronger then a community campaign.
post #7 of 42
I do drink beer with lunch or wine with dinner and if I am not feeling it I do drive. The thing is that you can never tell what will give you a surprise buzz. I can have 2 beers, but one glass of red wine will give me a buzz. I can have 2 glasses of red wine one time with no effects, but the next time, a small amount of white wine will give me a buzz. So, I don't really go by how much I drink (always under limit) but by how I feel. If I were to get a surprise buzz off of one wacky glass of wine, I would have to let someoene else drive, or find an excuse to sit and socialize until I felt better.

Whether I drive with my children or without them, it's no difference. Someone's children are on the road, so why would it matter if it just happens to be my own.

Lisa
post #8 of 42
I 100% agree with your DH. Not only does it model bad behavior, it only takes one drink to impair a person. Your children have the right to be driven around by a sober person (not to mention all of the innocent people driving on the road with you).
When we go out as a family, one of us can drink but NEVER both of us. The majority of the time we don't drink at all when out as a family anyway. Drunk driving is not taken seriously enough in todays society. If you drink, don't get behind the wheel of a car. Drink, but do so responsibly.
post #9 of 42
It is not about how you "feel" after so many drinks. It is the amount of alcohol in your system that determines if you are legally drunk or not. I know people who can drink a 6 pack and still think they can drive.

Reaction to alcohol can be different every time you drink.

I would play it safe and have one person drink and the other be the driver.
post #10 of 42
If you have a single alcoholic beverage, and you're spending more than an hour from consuming the drink until you drive, then I don't see what the problem is.

I don't think it makes a darn bit of difference if you're driving with your own children in the car or not. Your children are no more precious than the other drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians on the road. Either you're safe to drive or you're not, no matter who's in the car with you.
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallaschildren View Post
I 100% agree with your DH. Not only does it model bad behavior, it only takes one drink to impair a person. Your children have the right to be driven around by a sober person (not to mention all of the innocent people driving on the road with you).
:
post #12 of 42
posting before I read so I can write what I REALLY think, not regurgitate!:

I think a beer or a glass of wine at a restaurant with a meal is fine. It is metabolized by the body and you can always linger so it has more time to disperse.

More than 2 beers or glasses of wine seems to me to be setting a bad example..... most people are buzzed slightly after 2, senses dulled - even if they say they are not. (Not saying all... but most). And besides, dinner isn't for getting drunk in my book.

Off to read what everyone else thought...
post #13 of 42
I know that for some people, a single drink shows no effects. I totally get that. However..

My mom always told me when I was a kid, that if she had one drink and got into a car accident, she would always wonder if it was that one drink that made her crash. I thought about that, and realized how horrible I would feel if someone got hurt in an accident I may have caused by one glass of wine.

The other problem with "I don't feel the effects of one drink" is that other people will say "well if that person can do it, so will I". I know, having drank very rarely since I got pregnant and had ds, that one drink will make me tipsy. I would not be able to drive.
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
I subscribe to the "let them see you be responsible about alcohol as opposed to strictly forbidding it" theory. And that goes for driving. I don't think it's hypocritical to be against drinking and driving and then have a drink at dinner and drive home. I think it's hypocritical to be against DRUNK driving, and then 6 drinks with dinner and drive home.

I would rather have my child see me have ONE drink and then make the conscious effort to stop because I have to drive, then to never be exposed at all. The latter means they have no experience with how to act responsibly when drinking, and I think the influence we have over our children while they grow up is stronger then a community campaign.

I completely agree with this
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
It is not about how you "feel" after so many drinks. It is the amount of alcohol in your system that determines if you are legally drunk or not. I know people who can drink a 6 pack and still think they can drive.
Yes, which is why weight makes a difference. My 280 lb husband can tolerate a 16 ounce beer with dinner with absolutely no side effects. I, otoh, cannot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
If you have a single alcoholic beverage, and you're spending more than an hour from consuming the drink until you drive, then I don't see what the problem is.

I don't think it makes a darn bit of difference if you're driving with your own children in the car or not. Your children are no more precious than the other drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians on the road. Either you're safe to drive or you're not, no matter who's in the car with you.


This is also very true
post #16 of 42
To me it's a cost/benefit analysis.

There is NO downside, to me, to ONLY drinking when I don't have to drive. There are pleanty of other opportunities for drinking, so why bother even if there is a small possiblity that drinking could slow my reaction time even a millisecond.
post #17 of 42
I don't have a problem with dh or myself having a glass of wine with dinner and driving with ds afterward. I don't think it is irresponsible nor do I think it is modeling a bad behavior to ds--because I don't think that it is a bad behavior.
post #18 of 42
I agree with your DH. It's a bad example for children to see their parents drink at dinner and then drive home. They hear "don't drink and drive!" but see differently.

Now, in reality, while I personally dislike it, a person knows their limits. One glass of wine will most likely not impair a person to drive home.

I'm not a drinker either, hate the thought of alcohol and wish it would disappear. Obviously, that'll never happen though.
post #19 of 42
If I have one beer or a glass of wine with my dinner, then I am not only well below the legal limit by the time I leave, I am not affected by the drink anymore than I would be affected by the radio distraction-wise. And I assume folks aren't eliminating all distractions while driving such as the radio, drinking a coke/water, chatting with passengers, cell phone (with a headset), etc. ? I feel that the amount of distraction from a drink over an hour period is exaggerated in some folks minds when you compare it to all the other distractions folks don't think twice about while driving.

I personally prefer to show how to handle alcohol responsibly and it isn't hard to explain to a kid the difference between 1 drink with dinner and more than that. I know my parents and my health classes explained this just fine. Also, "don't drink and drive" is correct for when they are under 21. Any amount of alcohol at that age is considered drunk driving.

I do think you two need to agree before it comes up though. And being able to have a drink while out and then drive isn't that big of a deal to me, so if my DH felt strongly, I would probably not pick that as the battle I wanted to fight.
post #20 of 42
It would take a whole lot more than a glass of wine or even a couple beers with dinner to get me buzzed! And my DF is 6'6" and over 300 pds, so a few beers are nothing to him.

So yeah, sometimes we might have a beer or glass of wine with dinner, and I'd be perfectly comfortable to drive home. Most times I wouldn't do it simply because drinking with food just makes me want to go to sleep after I eat.

I think it's important to show kids how to handle alcohol in a responsible way.
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