I left the bar at around last call. Always dangerous. I’d had a light night, drinking-wise, with only two beers over three and a half hours. On the other hand, you never know how things are going to show up on a breathalizer. So, though I was in complete control of my faculties, my main goal was to avoid any sort of unwanted attention (even if you pass the breathalyzer, you still may get a ticket just so that the cop can justify his time.

Oh yeah, and besides all that, it’s last call on New Years Eve. The roads can be a scary place at this time. I think that knowing that was what made driving home so nerve-wracking. Was that car in front of me riding the break because they were a general break-rider? Or because they were drunk? Or because they were paranoid about drunks like I was? I asked this question for every abnormality. Driving too slow, driving too fast, changing lanes. Choosing not to change lanes even though the car in front of them was stopped (waiting to turn into an overfull parking lot) and there was a clear lane to the left?

In addition to being nerve-racking, I think my paranoia actually made me a less safe driver.


Category: Road

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8 Responses to The Dangers of Driving Paranoid

  1. Kirk says:

    What were you doing out at a bar on “amateur night”? As for drinking two beers in 3.5 hours, I just can’t drink that slowly. Didn’t you get, well…, bored, just sitting there for such an extended length of time, sober?

  2. trumwill says:

    I was at a live music show.

  3. Kirk says:

    I was at a live music show.

    Ah, that makes sense. I didn’t have you pegged as a sit-at-a-bar type.

    Still, two beers in 3.5 hours…they made a lot of money off of you last night, didn’t they! 😉

    As for driving paranoid, I don’t know that it’s really dangerous. Other than maybe slamming on your brakes at a green light because you sense it may be getting close to turning yellow, I’m not sure if there’s much you can do wrong.

    And really, two beers in almost four hours? I’m guessing you weigh around 200 pounds, which means you shouldn’t have even been feeling anything. Are you just naturally paranoid?

    Anyway, I’ve toyed with the idea of buying a breathalyzer. You can get good ones for less than $200, though the ones the cops use go for about $500. The only difference is false-positives, with the cheaper variety showing alcohol when the person’s breath is contaminated with something else.

    Yeah, that’s a bit of money to spend, and you also have to send them in every year to get calibrated. However, a DUI costs a lot. ($1,500? $2,000? I remember being astonished at reading how much the fines and classes cost.)

    Anyway, glad you’re safe…you big wuss! 🙂

  4. trumwill says:

    Ever since I lost the weight, my tolerance for alcohol has been extremely spotty. So I don’t have the clear idea of how much I can hold before my BAC reaches the danger zone. Once, two beers was all it took. Last night, though, I didn’t sense any impairment at all. But that doesn’t mean I necessarily would have passed the breathalyzer. More of my paranoia was toward other drivers rather than my BAC, though.

    Regarding the show, they didn’t make much money off me in beer. Beyond that, the deal included a small glass of wine (another ex-factor, I’ve never been a wine drinker) to ring in the new year as well as a couple of the worst breakfast tacos I have ever had, further cutting into how much food/beverage money they were making from me.

    However, the ticket to get in cost $45, so I don’t feel all that bad about it. It was not a cheap night.

  5. Mike Hunt says:

    Drunk drivers are probably the best drivers in terms of following the letter of the law. Hands at 10 and 2, fully stopping at stop signs, using turn signals, etc.

    Ironically, this may make one a worse driver. Driving is a zen activity; overthinking it really detracts from the experience.

    the ticket to get in cost $45

    At that price they should have given you a drink or two.

  6. trumwill says:

    Drunk drivers are probably the best drivers in terms of following the letter of the law. Hands at 10 and 2, fully stopping at stop signs, using turn signals, etc.

    I remember in one of my defensive driving classes they talked about how mildly drunk people tend to be methodically perfect drivers (right up until they’re put into a situation where they need to think/react quickly) until the drunkenness reaches the next level at which point they forget or stop caring about the rules.

    At that price they should have given you a drink or two.

    The Stockpile gave us the glass of wine (and the awful burritos), but that was it. A couple years ago we went to a New Years Party at Rawlin’s that was $20 and they gave us a bottle of wine. Rawlin’s had a less well-known headliner, though, and it was sufficiently unsuccessful that they stopped doing New Years parties after that. So this year it was The Stockpile or bust, and thankfully they stopped bringing in the the mediocre pretty boys that kept me away from it and instead brought in one of my favorites.

    A couple years back,

  7. Mike Hunt says:

    Your response got cut off…

  8. trumwill says:

    Close. When I’m writing comments, instead of immediately deleting a part I am not sure I want to use, I leave it to the end and delete it when I’m done. Unless I forget, as I did here.

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