It seems like drinking culture has become a dominating force in more recent years. There is so much more of our lifestyles attached with drinking than there used to be. It seems more of a trend to meet for drinks, than coffee. Happy hours have become more popular. And if you mention that you don’t drink, the immediate retort is “Why?”. While meeting for drinks isn’t uncommon, it wasn’t as prevalent as it is now. There are always reasons to go out and drink. Whether you are celebrating something, mourning something or just going to spend time with friends; there is never a shortage of reasons to go to a bar or pop the cork on a bottle of wine. Drinking culture has taken over the social scene. You can read more about it here.
Meeting for coffee is considered dull and cold. However, meeting for drinks is considered fun and sexy. Even if you don’t drink liquor, it understood that you drink wine. It is far too familiar for a group of women to gather at someone’s house and understand that a bottle of wine will be waiting. You can barely keep track of how many people make jokes that they won’t go anywhere unless there is a bar or wine available. This tends to be because people have fewer inhibitions and are considered more fun after a few drinks. But, that view should be a bigger problem. If someone needs a few glasses to have fun; maybe they just don’t want to be there. Why should you need drinks to have a good time? That might be a big red flag telling you that there is a more significant problem at play.
So often, you hear people say that they need a few drinks or glasses of wine to be around family. This tends to mean that they don’t enjoy family gatherings. But, drinking culture has also expanded that. It isn’t as taboo, as it used to be, to drink with your parents. There used to be a social stigma to drinking and parents weren’t supposed to know you did, let alone drink with you. Now, it is more acceptable. While it used to be ok to have a glass of wine at Thanksgiving or some Champagne on New Year’s Eve, it has become more common for parents to drink with their young adults more frequently. There are some views that this skews the parent role, which can be significant; regardless of age. But, it also promotes drinking culture by showing that your parents are ok with it; it can’t be that bad. This makes it more acceptable and fluid to society.
Even work events have drinking culture associations. It used to be looked down upon to have a company event with alcohol, but now it has become a staple. There is no shortage of stories about that drunk guy at the office party. Or something embarrassing that lady said at the boss’ happy hour after work. There are even more offices that will allow you to keep alcohol in your desk drawer so that as soon as you are off, you can grab a quick drink. There is no thought about the person driving home afterward or how that contributes to alcoholism. It is just considered a workplace perk, like having a great cafeteria downstairs. Happy hours have become a place to meet and talk about work issues, and company dinners serve alcohol. This has all become normal, without losing a step in the stride. Drinking culture has hit the workplace, and people are not only enjoying it, but they are also enthusiastic about it.
DUIs & American Drinking Culture
Drinking culture is something you should be aware of and beware of. You do not need to feed into the peer pressure. There are plenty of ways to enjoy life without the social lubrication that drinking offers. Many people have said that sober living has provided them a happier point of view and given them a better life. It is understandably common to want to drink when you are legally able to do so. But, how long should that last? Now it is more common for people to have DUIs and DWIs. They have almost become a right of passage when they used to be a fireable offense. Having a drink here and there is ok, but you don’t want to tempt the law. If you drink, have someone drive you home or take a cab. If you don’t, you might find yourself in trouble. You can read more about DUIs here.