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Cool DUI Interesting article!

Rolling Stoned: Experiments in Riding Drunk

What happens when friends let friends ride drunk. We plied our staff with liquor and them put them on motorcycles. From the April 1999 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine. By Jamie Elvidge.








You think that an occasional beer—or two—before a ride isn't a problem? You might want to consider the experiences of our staff, when they had a couple and went for a ride.

Except for the vodka and cops, it was a day like any other at Honda's Rider Education Facility in Colton, California. Imagine being hopelessly drunk and trying to execute a complex skills course with police officers on the sidelines, breathalyzers and radar guns drawn. It could have been a bad dream.

It was a scene alright, one that our Editorial Director/vodka victim, Kevin Smith, recalls "didn't take long to stop being fun." Swilling spirits with co-workers before noon isn't something we normally do around here. In fact, our corporate policy boldly states that we are not allowed to even look at a company-owned or -loaned motorcycle within eight hours of sipping anything stronger than seltzer, whether we're on the clock or not. This was an exception. In the name of science we took five subjects of varying riding and drinking experience and progressively brought them to a state of utter inebriation in order to document the effects drinking has on riding. The compelling point? Riding under the influence is the number one killer of motorcyclists. The main concern? Could the results of what we found in our tightly controlled environment be enough to make you think twice in the Real World.

The real kicker? Who was going to mop up all the puke?

Every 32 minutes someone dies on out nation's roadways in an alcohol-related accident. A person is injured in alcohol-related accidents approximately every 2 minutes.
—Office of Traffic Safety






We were surprised at the real-life lessons wrought on the calm sea of Colton asphalt. When we used our imaginations it was Real World enough. It didn't matter that our cops were innocuous, or that our sterile course lacked Cora Cataract and Uncle Buck in his truck. Neither a sprinkling of gravel nor smear of oil was necessary to illustrate the point. Drinking and riding motorcycles is scary stuff.

In a California study, the Highway Patrol found that 69 percent of all at-fault motorcycle collisions happened when the rider was under the influence (excessive speed takes second place at 44-percent). Our subjects would certainly think twice about drinking and riding after our little experiment. In fact, I would go as far as to say that if our alcoholic adventures were part of legislated motorcycle training, DUI deaths would be as rare as airline disasters.

The Drunk Test

Here's how it played out. Our five subjects were Evans Brasfield, Motorcycle Cruiser's Associate Editor; John Burns, our sister magazine, Motorcyclist's, Feature Editor; Kevin Smith, Our 'steemed Editorial Director; Elisabeth Piper representing the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and Verlin Chalmers, a chemical-abuse specialist from Northern California. Evans and Elisabeth are both MSF instructors and club-level road racers. Evans considers himself a moderate drinker "I have one beer as a reward after I jog and maybe a couple more on weekends." Elisabeth occasionally sips with dinner. John is, ah, let's say, an enthusiastic drinker, "I'd say moderate but the Surgeon General would say 'heavy'." He's been licensed for eleven years and has some road racing experience. Kevin, a highly-trained rider, is an occasional drinker who "likes to have a couple on the back porch with friends." Verlin was our neophyte drinker who, despite his occupation consoling alcoholics and addicts, claimed he had (note the past tense) never been drunk. He was also as close as we got to tenderfoot in the riding department, since he's had no formal training. As a control, we collected data on Motorcycle Cruiser's Editor Art Friedman, who would ride but remain sober throughout the trials.






The stage was set at Honda of North America's Rider Education Facility south of San Bernardino. We opted to borrow one of the training bikes—a 250 Nighthawk—for safety's sake. The bulk of the testing would be conducted on the facility's serpentine skills course. It's an eighth-mile long, seven feet wide and made up of 11 corners (depending on how you count). It incorporates two stops, one entering a tight left and the other a tight right turn. To complicate matters, we had the riders apply the blinker before the first stop, and added half a second to their times if they forgot to, or if they neglected to cancel the signal once they'd turned. At the other stop, the riders were to find neutral, deploy the kickstand and run around the motorcycle before proceeding.

The course would be timed from standing start to finish and a half-second would be added to the riders' time if they touched a painted line. A whole second was added if they actually crossed over a line. The lines were to be considered homicidal. Upon crossing the finish line of the skills course the riders were instructed to make an emergency, straight-line stop so we could measure their braking ability.

The second setup was a two-part situation. The riders were to travel across the training ground at what they perceived to be 20 mph while we clocked them with a radar gun (the bike's speedo was taped over). We hoped this would be a gauge for any change in speed perception. At the end of their run they would enter a set of cones leading them toward a painted rectangle which we called the "back of the bus." At the first set of cones, which were approximately 15-feet from bus, they would receive a hand signal telling them whether they had to swerve right, left or make a panic stop to avoid immanent death. Interestingly, implanting oneself into the rear end of a slower moving vehicle is one of the most common incidents self-inflicted by intoxicated motorcyclists.

It looked like a joy ride. Motorists reported seeing the bike weaving dangerously in and out of traffic while the passenger gleefully slapped at the rearview mirrors of the vehicles they sped passed. She was probably laughing when the bike hit the back of the semi. The rider's face left an impression in the metal door. Both were dead at the scene. Neither was wearing a helmet. The medical examiner logged in the rider's BAC at a shocking .35. He shouldn't have been able to walk, much less ride a motorcycle.
—One of the 900 motorcycle accidents investigated in the University of Southern California's "Hurt Report"






It's been documented through investigation of motorcycle accidents that riders who have been drinking are much less likely to wear helmets when helmet use is optional, just as car drivers are less likely to buckle up. Stupidity does snowball sometimes, you know. One study from the University of Washington cites that "The intoxicated cyclists were at fault for the accident 50-percent more often than the non-intoxicated cyclists and were found to wear helmets one third as frequently."

Our riders were dressed to kill instead—full protective garb from head to toe. Under the watchful eye of motorcycle safety guru, Peter Fassnatch, and California Highway Patrol Officer, Dan Medillion, we let them out on the skills course several times while they were still sober to get a baseline time and record their best braking distance. They also did the 20-mph shoot and the back-of-the-bus until we felt we had their average perception and reaction scores. The testosterone was flowing long before the alcohol. Times were key. Only Elisabeth, shielded by estrogen, seemed totally unaffected by the pre-chemical competition.

It was time to break the seal on the Stoli and hope that "bottom's up" would only pertain to cups. We had chosen Vodka as the drink of choice for several reasons. We knew the riders would have to ingest a goodish amount of alcohol in a short period of time, and the sheer volume of beer needed would be physically uncomfortable...not to mention the potty breaks. Vodka seemed like a lighter; cleaner alternative that would be easier on the system and more likely to stay put. Ha!






We also knew that a properly mixed drink has exactly the same effect as one 12-ounce beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine. It's amazing how many people resist that fact and insist that beer or wine produces a different, somehow more manageable effect. A beer is a glass of wine is a mixed drink. They all have the same amount of alcohol and therefore the same physiological effect. You might feel more civilized when you drink wine or more brutish when you drink beer, but it's a fantasy.

Nowhere in our research was this denial more apparent than in a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which conducted ten focus groups throughout the U.S. to asses the attitudes of motorcyclists in regard to drinking and riding. A participant from Denver stated, "I think a shot is comparable to maybe three beers." Ding. A rider from San Diego says "It's common sense that whiskey is a fighting drink, beer is pretty mellow and wine is fine." Dong.

One Drink Helps?

We started each tester off with a double...that's about 2.5 ounces of the hard stuff. Since all had only had a light breakfast four or more hours before, we waited only about 15 minutes for the stuff to fully sink into their stomach linings then sent them one-by-one to Officer Medillion and the breathalyzer. Food, by the way, doesn't lessen the intensity of your buzz, it just deters it. The blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) readings were low and very legal, just as you'd expect after two drinks. John blew a .032; Kevin .023; Elizabeth .043; Verlin .032 and Evans .033. And off they went to ride in that order.

Things were notably different on the course. The mood had heightened and so had the competitive spirit. Almost everyone rode the track faster than they had sober. John, Elisabeth and Verlin were all much smoother and more effectively communicating with the bike. Elisabeth had seemed especially hesitant on the course and this was gone with the first drink. Everyone's braking distances were improved.

Were we proving something here? Were we destined to make MADD mad? Does a drink or two really make you a better rider? A lot of people think so, including our own John Burns, who will probably have something to that effect printed on his headstone.

Here's what the rest of us, including a battery of experts, think might be going on: You just may perform "better" after a couple of drinks...and you definitely will perceive that you are performing better. Something to consider however, is just why your performance is up. Your inhibitions are down, right? But let's equate inhibition to caution, because by definition it means restraint. After a couple of drinks you feel more confident because you're acting with less caution. It's not a true confidence though. True confidence comes with skill. The problem with false confidence and motorcycle riding is that you probably lack the skill to back up the newfound faith in your ability. You carry caution with you for a reason. It may not be that important on the dance floor, you just end up looking like a fool. Riders who get profoundly better (smoother/faster) are at the greatest risk for disaster at low BAC levels.

If I don't have a drink before I get on my bike, I'm uncomfortable, because it is a lot of power underneath me and you definitely have to know what you're doing to ride this particular motorcycle, so I need a drink to help me go out there and ride.
—Miami NHSTA Focus Group Participant.






It follows then that Evans didn't show an improved performance on the course after that first drink. He did have inflated aggression "I didn't care if I crashed," he said. "My biggest fear was crashing sober." And he took time adjustments for forgetting to cancel his turn signal and crossing over a line. Perhaps being a veteran MSF chief instructor, daily commuter and weekend roadracer adds up to a skill (or confidence) level that negates any drop in inhibitions that would reflect in a positive way. The problem in this situation could be that in the alcohol-induced euphoria he could push too hard. If the line he'd hit had been a curb, his aggression might have done him in.

Kevin was smooth and rode effectively but he was also our first rider to show signs of tunnel vision. He was sitting closer to the tank, his head was lower and his eyes had dropped to the course immediately in front of him. He said he already felt nervous. "I wouldn't ride this way. I'm totally concentrating on getting around the track."

People who've had a few drinks perform very well in single-task testing. Tell them to count the number of times a light blinks and press a button when it reaches a predetermined number and they can do it all day. Add a task to the monitoring like, say, do the same thing but also hit the button if you see an additional light flash in the periphery and they get lost. Folks who've been drinking—even a little—tend to miss the additional stimulus, or if they do see it, they lose track of counting the primary light.






Motorcycle riding is not so simple. To be effective you need to split your attention between operating and monitoring the controls, regulating speed, assessing immediate traffic situations and signals and staying on the course to your destination. If that's not complex enough, you need to be able to assimilate peripheral inputs along the way like road signs, cross traffic and pedestrians. And of course to truly ride well, you must have enough gray matter left in the jar to react to the unexpected. When you drink, your brain is less able to focus on a broad spectrum of actions and reactions.

"An intoxicated person's pupil will slow down and tends to stay fixed longer on object," explains Jim Ouellet, author of a USC research paper which investigated alcohol involvement in motorcycle accidents. "In effect, it takes longer to makes sense of the things you're looking at. So you can process less information about the things going on around you." Because a drunk can't "keep all the balls in the air" he tends to block out the peripheral fields. It's this physiological "tunnel-vision" factor that helps experts explain why the classic fatal accident for drinking motorcyclists involves a long straightaway and a corner.

It's midnight to 2:30 a.m. and they're done drinking and going to ride home. The biggest problem with these guys is not turning when the road does. They literally go along for 5, 10, 20 minutes and just ride straight off the road. They fail to negotiate the turn, run off to the outside of the corner and hit some fixed object...a pole, tree, park bench, whatever...
—Dave Thom, Head Protection Research Laboratory

The most common fatal crash for a sober rider occurs during daylight hours at low speeds (average 33.3 mph) and involves another vehicle. It's the legendary left-hand turn that takes out the tea totalers. The crash that kills a rider who's been drinking is a solo affair that involves a higher median speed (41.3-mph). The odds are pretty clear: drink enough, often enough and you're just gonna lose it some night...probably in the wee hours, all alone.

When we moved to the speed-perception shoot all the riders selected cruising speeds below the imposed 20-mph, perhaps in anticipation of the upcoming emergency maneuver. Even at this early stage only three out of five riders would have avoided contact with the back-of-the-bus.

Have Another Round



All were smiling at theat first drink...
And the hilarity increased, at least at first.
Then it began to go over the top.
But soon the laughter stopped...
Our drunks looked dour, or heaved over the fence.
At least they didn't leave in handcuffs.It took us almost an hour to get to our next beverage break where we had everyone throw back a single (1.25-ounce) mixed drink. Considering that the magic number for BAC burn off is .015-percent per hour it's no wonder the second round failed to get the riders much over their previous levels. The guys all remained in the .03s, but Elisabeth did skip from a .043 up to a .063. Women have a slightly different absorption rate than men due to a higher fat-to-muscle ratio. Elisabeth is also considerably lighter than the men are so therefore carries less body fluids and would always have a higher BAC reading.






Back on the track we saw the same behaviors only exaggerated. Verlin was magically smooth and more aggressive; it was his best run yet. "I seemed to do better because I was more relaxed," he wrote. "But I would never ride this way because of false confidence." Elisabeth, despite her high BAC reading was riding with eerie smoothness but her run took her a full minute to complete. She wrote that she was "very focused on path of travel and mechanics of exercise and had no time to be aware of anything else." Evans, on the other hand, was more confident and aggressive, but it translated to jerkiness as he slammed the bike through the turns. His time didn't improve despite his manhandling of the machine and again he lost points for sloppiness.

It should be noted that during this time Art had been riding the course sober and, much to the consternation of his consuming compatriots, had greatly improved his time and efficiency. His total time on this third recorded run was 43.91 seconds compared to his best baseline of 46 seconds. So keep in mind that if the other guys were sober, they too would be improving with each run instead of worsening. Their scores could be inverted if you considered where they'd be if they weren't drinking.

At this point we decided to get serious, or at least the drinkers decided to get serious about their drinking. While the test controllers debated about how to dose the next round, the subjects took the liberty of pouring themselves a cool one. So much for sterile statistics on quantity of consumption. The monkeys had found the lever.






Twenty minutes later we were back trackside and John blew a .10. This is an extreme jump from .033, so we know that John slipped himself a Mickey. He was now officially drunk in every state and his drinking buddies cheered vigorously. He did a smooth, quick run, although he touched the line once and crossed completely over another one. So they were just painted lines, right? Not really. They were to be treated like curbs or ditches. Yeah, it's easy to walk on a 2x4 lying on the ground and imagine it's a balance beam. But just because it's on the ground doesn't mean you're not trying to the best of your ability to stay on it.

Everyone was getting much louder now and the competition factor was thick. After his run, John argued quite aggressively with the officials about the scoring. He was acting seriously paranoid and insisted we were "out to get me" by adjusting his time for mistakes he didn't make. He also said he knew we were giving him his signal late in the emergency maneuver so he'd look bad. Lucky for John his sense of humor surfaced, and the CHP officer didn't book him when he formally surrendered.

When you're sober it's easier to separate emotions from actions. When you're out there on the bike emotions like anger show up in your riding as aggression. It may be speed, exaggerated acceleration and shifting, oversteering or overbraking. It sure ain't smoothness.

I can be in a good mood and go out and pound 15 beers and have no problem at all. I can go out and pound 15 beers in a bad mood, and I'm going to be in jail. There's no medium ground.
—Chicago NHSTA Focus Group Participant

Gunning for the Sober Guy






Evans was at a .065 now and his aggression was peaking. He's wanted to go faster to beat the time of his nemesis, Art. Art was still sober, of course, and Evans was suffering alcohol-induced optimism. Officer Medillion remembered later, "What I saw was that even the first drink will have an effect on you. Instead of being cautious, they were less cautious. It's scary to think that these guys are professional riders, and they know their limits. But as soon as they had that first drink, it was, 'Hey. You know what? I'm feelin' loose now. I'm going to start going for it a little bit more.'" Despite great intent, Evans didn't come near Art's time. Not only did he turn his slowest time yet, he also crossed and touched lines and didn't apply his blinker at all.

Kevin, at .056, continued to crawl into his tunnel of vision and off-color remarks were made from the sidelines regarding his new relationship with the bike. He was practically sitting on the tank now and hunkered down over the bars like a gargoyle. He turned his slowest time yet, crossed a line and failed to employ his blinker. On completion he said he was trying hard not to tunnel vision but felt like he could only think of one thing at a time. He also noticed that simultaneously he felt more abandon and had no fear of falling. Scary as he felt and performed, he was still legal to ride.

At that time all of our riders fell into the second stage of alcohol intoxication (.03 to .12) which includes the pleasantries of mild euphoria, increased self-confidence, sociability and talkativeness, but also comes with some less appealing qualities. There's diminution of attention, judgement and control, the beginning of sensory-motor impairment and loss of efficiency in finer performance tests. Even before anyone reached the springboard of legality at .08, we were all amazed (with the exception of Officer Medellion perhaps) at how hammered everyone was. Verlin was also still very legal at .04, yet his newly acquired smoothness had vanished. He said he felt loose, but his riding was jerky. He was less precise with the controls and had trouble locating the sidestand. "I feel like I could make stupid mistakes and be in a world of hurt in a hurry."

Elisabeth on the other hand was definitely fodder for the files at .123, and it was clear she should be napping instead of riding a motorcycle. She giggled a lot and rode with great deliberation, finishing the course with two line touches and no blinker in 66.31 seconds. "It's the weirdest feeling," she said. "It feels like I'm doing alright but I know I'm not." She also noted that she couldn't focus on anything but her immediate path of travel.






Taking the Bus from Bad to Worse

Things started to get pretty silly at this point. Verlin said he spilled the bottle of grapefruit juice because the table moved in the wind. (There was no wind.) Kevin kept poking me in the arm while he tried to explain that he had something meaningful to say but couldn't remember the meaning of what he was saying. Evans and John were locked in a drunken embrace until John decided to come tell me he knew I was still out to get him, then he decided to grab my butt for good measure. The group was certainly getting on the bus from bad to worse. I caught Evans drinking from the two-liter bottle of Stoli...a photo opportunity gone awry, he said.

Drinking negates caution with everything—including how much you drink. It was curious to watch the guys mix drinks (and not just because they were seated at Art's kid's portable picnic table). They came into this test knowing it was to be very controlled and assuming they would only ingest a prescribed amount of alcohol. After two drinks they were mixing bigger drinks, after three, using less to cut them and finally swigging straight from the bottle. It says a lot about intentions, and that you need to expect you won't be reasoning the same way you did before you started drinking.

One of the biggest circumstances DUI riders cite is that they had a few too many. You don't eat a few too many hot dogs, do you? Alcohol has a voice that mimics your own. "You're fine," it says. "And you'll feel even better if you have another. You can still ride, just ride slow. And hey, that redhead sure is cute...wonder why you didn't notice her before. And look, she wants you..."

You get a little bolder after a couple of beers.
—Denver NHSTA Focus Group Participant

John checked in on the breathalyzer at .132. His pace around the course was slowing, and he touched two lines and crossed a third. Kevin, at .104 explained "John had to go first, and I am after John," then added, "I just want to lie down but will continue for the sake of science. I have no business being on a bike." He took an incredibly long time getting ready then stalled the bike. He dabbed his foot, touched three lines, crossed two and almost fell down walking around the bike.

Elisabeth was giggling again. She skipped this round of drinks but was still quite drunk. She had trouble buckling her helmet and then ignored the first stop. She couldn't find neutral at the second stop and was riding so slowly she was all but losing the gyroscopic effect. Before bringing the bike in, she ran off the course in a big way. Verlin was our only rider still below point one and, when he approached the second stop, stalled the bike with premature sidestand deployment and when he got back on the bike couldn't figure out why it wouldn't start until he remembered the sidestand was still down. Evans laughed hysterically on his run as he threaded his way off and back on the course five times. He said we were moving the cones.



More Minnesota posters.
A reminder to passengers.
Amen.Our five subjects were so hammered now it was amazing that they could even get around the track. I don't think they could have walked it. An important point to keep in mind is that all of them ride so much it's almost reflex. Even our "novice," Verlin, has been riding for 37 years, has ridden cross-country twice and puts about 17,000 miles on his Valkyrie each year. A study of disc jockeys and the effects of alcohol on their performance showed that even when they couldn't stand up they could still speak clearly.

It's also true that short-term concentration is much more obtainable than long-term concentration when you're snookered. You can probably get it together for a few miles when there's a police car following you, but when you're droning down the freeway, it's another story. When the guys got on the bike for their tests they flicked an "on" switch. They all felt their heads cleared on the bike then fogged again once they walked away.

Last Call, First Crash






It was definitely going to be the last call. Our five subjects were now fully into the third stage of intoxication (.09 to .25). The euphoric effects are gone at this stage and instead, there's emotional instability and loss of critical judgement, impairment of perception, memory and comprehension, decreased sensatory response and increased reaction time, sensory-motor incoordination, impaired balance and reduced visual acuity, night vision, peripheral vision and glare recovery. Oh, yeah, and vomiting.

John actually found the bike after blowing a shocking .247 on the breathalyzer. He couldn't find the start line though and we had to tell him where it was three times. He said, "Everybody has been drinking as I have forever," and took off. He made it through the course with one line touch, one cross, no blinker and then he crashed the bike by over-braking at the end. All the other drunks high-fived as he rolled out from under it. We could hear Kevin (.094) on the course chanting "I really don't want to do this...I don't like this at all...I'm not sure I can do this...."

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
—Dean Martin

Verlin took almost a minute to run the course but somehow remembered to turn his blinker on and off. At .161, Evans didn't know which way to turn, much less signal and ran off the track mid-course, bringing the bike to a shrieking stop. "This is stupid," he yelled, "I'm going to crash." He later said that his band of focus was so narrow he was worried he was going to run into the fence or the crowd. "An eighteen-wheeler could've been headed for me and I wouldn't have known."

Elisabeth, who stopped drinking three rounds ago, had managed to burn her blood alcohol concentration back down to legal at .066. Interestingly, she was riding more poorly than she had at .123. When we asked the experts about this they explained that it made sense because alcohol was a biphasic chemical. The first phase stimulates the central nervous system and the second stage depresses it. The stimulation had run it course and left her run down.

Still Dangerous When "Sober"

Recent studies have suggested that even when you're BAC has returned to .00 your level of deterioration is still palpable. It takes a while to actually feel sober even though you're sober on the meter. This is troubling since someone can sit at the bar for a couple of hours waiting for the clock to say they're good to go then proceed to perform worse than when drunk. Watching Elisabeth proved this. She had her worst run of the day, touching three lines, crossing one and forgetting the blinker entirely. She finished after a long 75 seconds, remarking that she felt more under the influence now than she had before. "I'm amazed at how little alcohol it takes to feel this drunk."

On the speed-perception drill, judgement remained about the same. No one went exactly 20 mph and only Kevin went over. The funny thing was, not one of them noticed the bright yellow tape was no longer affixed to the speedo, so they could have simply measured their speeds. John didn't do this last emergency drill because he'd simply zoned out. Three out of the four remaining riders failed to negotiate the back-of-the-bus.






A lot of people believe that if you're drunk you have a greater chance of avoiding injury in a crash. The myth is that you're more relaxed and able to roll with the punches. The reality is quiet the opposite extreme. According the American Association for Automotive Medicine, which detailed data from over 1,000,000 crashes, the drinking driver is more likely to suffer serious injury or death compared to the non-drinking driver. "In any given crash, alcohol increases the vulnerability to injury."

Another paper from the University of Washington found while investigating motorcycle accidents where head injuries were involved, "The protective affect of helmet use was lost on the intoxicated group, who sustained head injuries twice as frequently. The mortality following the critical head injury was twice as high among intoxicated patients (80-percent vs. 43-percent)".

A USC-released study which investigated 900 motorcycle accidents in the Los Angeles area also found you are much more likely to die from your injuries when you've been drinking, helmet or not. Four-percent of the non-drinking riders were killed as opposed to 21-percent of those who had been drinking. "The difference is statistically significant. Drinking riders who crashed were about 5.6 times as likely to die as non-drinking motorcyclists involved in an accident."

Luckily the only get-off besides John's braking crash we witnessed was the collapse of the portable picnic table. Somehow Evans and Verlin ended up handcuffed together while Kevin searched for patterns in the pavement and John kicked off the now-infamous Barf-O-Rama. Elisabeth remained composed and quietly endured.

An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.
—Ernest Hemingway

The instant the drills were over the group had fallen apart. They took a quick blow on the breathalyzer to reveal their ending BAC levels, and all had soared well above point one. As they stumbled away it was hard to believe that moments before they had been riding a motorcycle. It remains harder to fathom that people are riding the roads of the Real World right now in the same condition.

Why Is Booze Tangled Up with Bikes?






It's easy to say "Don't drink and ride." It's also easy to say, "Eat your vegetables" when it's not your plate of spinach. Motorcycling is a recreational activity that, for many riders, is tangled with another recreational activity: drinking. "Beer for bikers is like wine in France," said a Miami rider. "You don't drink water, you drink beer." And it's a truth. How many group rides have you been on that were punctuated with alcohol? Ever notice how all the stopping places serve beer? And who's to say that a drink or two doesn't enhance the experience anyway? We can tell you it ups your odds of having an accident, but if you don't surpass your limit, aren't those low-end odds, perhaps, justifiable?

And what about your limit? Knowing your limit is of paramount importance, and proportionate ambiguity. It varies wildly from one individual to the next and depends more on temperament and tolerance than weight. Unfortunately there is no formula, and it can vary from day to day. There's also the disturbing fact that, once you've had a drink, your interpretation of your limit is very likely to change...and it won't fall on the conservative side.






All of our riders thought they were performing better than they were during the tests. Judgement of their own abilities was skewed almost immediately, even though this was a group very in tune with their skill levels.

So what do you do if you're out there and realize you've had too many? Coffee, cold water, exercise and eating are all a waste of time. And although time is the only thing that will elminate the effects of alcohol, it's been proven that you're still impaired long after the last call. (Our riders still felt effected the next day and most opted to stay home.) A ride home with a designated driver (which we required all our testers to take) is the next best thing to abstinence.

If you're inclined to have a couple of drinks because it heightens your experience or fortifies your performance, there are other ways to get the same feeling without the hangover. A shot of rider education like the MSF's Advanced RiderCourse or a trackside workshop will raise your skill level so you can own that confidence and not borrow it from a bottle.

And for those of you who've gotten through all this and still believe it's okay to drink and ride? A Highway Patrol Officer from San Diego sums it up, "There's a certain Darwinian process that gets rid of the real bad riders real quick."

Address comments to [email protected]






CONSEQUENCES OF ARREST/CONVICTION
1. Suspension of license mandatory in half of states; 15 days to 1 year
2. Fine mandatory in half of states; $150 to $10,000
3. Jail sentence mandatory in one-third of states; 1 to 5 days
4. Increased insurance rates $500 plus per year
5. Lawyer and court fees
6. Lost work time
7. Alcohol-education program attendance
8. Tow/impound of bike

HOW IMPAIRMENT AFFECTS RIDING
1. Giving full attention to the motorcycle
- Awareness
- Restraint
- Concentration
- Multi-tasking

2. Searching the environment
- Often fails to notice what's going on in the distance

3. Identifying possible hazards
- Ability to see moving objects
- Ability to see clearly at night/handle glare from headlights (2 to 3 drinks cuts night vision by about 1/3)

4. Decision skills
- How fast to ride
- Whether to pass or yield
- Whether to change lanes
- How much room between vehicles
- Whether to ride at all

5. Reaction time
- Make choices/act quickly
- Memory

6. Coordination and balance
- Riding requires high degree of eye/hand/foot coordination

Courtesy of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Related Articles
Drunk on a Motorcycle, Motorcyclist Magazine
The Impaired Rider

For more information on safe-riding equipment, strategies, techniques and skills, see the Street Survival section of MotorcycleCruiser.com.

The American Motorcyclist Association and the NHTSA have created the Ride Straight site to help combat riding under the influence

Miles of smiles of miles of smiles of...
The hardest thing to do on a K1200LT is riding it home.

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post #2 of 70 Old Nov 29th, 2007, 9:15 am
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I can honestly state that in all my years of riding, I have never had a drink and then gotten on the bike.
I'm no tea-totaler, either. Telle and I were leaving a bar at Americade one night, walking the 1/4 mile back to the motel. As we rounded the corner (well, she rounded it, I sort of looped around somehow) the sheriff sitting in his patrol car rolled down his window and asked "You're not riding, are you?" I just looked back with that happy drunk chit-eating grin, and Telle answered him - "Just me, later".

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post #3 of 70 Old Nov 29th, 2007, 12:36 pm
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I can honestly say that I rode shit faced.... a lot. My history of wadding bikes kinda followed.

Been clean and sober now for over 15 years and the wadding has only been once. Some kind of coincidence?

What's real funny is my tats have been done sober.

I'm real messed up.



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post #4 of 70 Old Nov 29th, 2007, 1:45 pm
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When I got back into riding a couple of years ago I decided I just wouldn't drink when I was riding. I've actually had about half a pint of beer once and then rode home. I was amazed at how I felt it. Won't be doing it again.

It's so completely different than driving a car or truck. So much more of your body is required to handle a motorcycle that even a small change becomes noticeable.

I really love a beer or wine after work with friends. I enjoy riding more so now I order ice tea or coke. Still enjoy the friends and make it home safe.

Very good article.

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post #5 of 70 Old Nov 29th, 2007, 3:06 pm
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Great article. Thanks you for the information. I do not drink and therefore I can not relate to the drinking and driving syndrome. I would hope people and fellow riders would learn for your experiments.

Thanks

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post #6 of 70 Old Nov 29th, 2007, 3:27 pm
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I've rode and drank long before I could legally drink......Owned my own bar and drank beer everyday...... Never had a ticket cause I never drove stupid.... And I never drank and rode a test course set up for you to fail Thats just stupid and re-enforces stupid articles like at the top of this page......... Some of you are barely competent to ride a bike sober and God help everyone when you drink........... BUT!!!!!!!!! Not everyone is incompetent,some people are co-ordinated and have passed field sobriety tests with flying colors..... Of course some can't ride a bike without special boots, special pants, special coat, special gloves, special helmet and have to have taken a special riders course........ I know its hard for some of you to accept the fact that you are less competent than others..... No matter how much you protest or whine you just are not very good at riding,,,, and most of the time your half scared of your own shadow..............

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post #7 of 70 Old Nov 29th, 2007, 4:06 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petepeterson
I've rode and drank long before I could legally drink......Owned my own bar and drank beer everyday...... Never had a ticket cause I never drove stupid.... And I never drank and rode a test course set up for you to fail Thats just stupid and re-enforces stupid articles like at the top of this page......... Some of you are barely competent to ride a bike sober and God help everyone when you drink........... BUT!!!!!!!!! Not everyone is incompetent,some people are co-ordinated and have passed field sobriety tests with flying colors..... Of course some can't ride a bike without special boots, special pants, special coat, special gloves, special helmet and have to have taken a special riders course........ I know its hard for some of you to accept the fact that you are less competent than others..... No matter how much you protest or whine you just are not very good at riding,,,, and most of the time your half scared of your own shadow..............
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post #8 of 70 Old Nov 30th, 2007, 4:56 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petepeterson
I've rode and drank long before I could legally drink......Owned my own bar and drank beer everyday......
No matter how much you protest or whine you just are not very good at riding,,,, and most of the time your half scared of your own shadow..............
Hey, it seems we have a master in our midst
Master drinker or master pot stirrer ?
Well, THAT grashopper I snatched up a long time ago

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post #9 of 70 Old Nov 30th, 2007, 7:44 am
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Expert with alcohol and riding

WOW !

It appears that all the concern for our safety with regards to alcohol and riding has been for nothing. According to Pete, we can all just ditch our "special riding gear, training etc" and go back to T shirts, flip flops, and shorts. While we're at it, let's all plan a group ride to Petes' bar, get smashed and sit around and let Pete tell us how stupid we really are! Anybody up for it? I'm off this weekend, my alco-sensor's in the shop anyway........

Seriously Pete, there's a lot of locations to find an AA meeting.
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post #10 of 70 Old Nov 30th, 2007, 2:20 pm
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In many states in the U.S. if a person gets intoxicated at a bar, then drives away, the bartender is liable.

Hey, Pete... have you ever taken away a customer's car keys to make sure he didn't kill himself or anyone else on his way home from your bar?

If you look at the map and don't care where you are, you're not lost.

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post #11 of 70 Old Nov 30th, 2007, 2:36 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petepeterson
I've rode and drank long before I could legally drink......Owned my own bar and drank beer everyday...... Never had a ticket cause I never drove stupid.... And I never drank and rode a test course set up for you to fail Thats just stupid and re-enforces stupid articles like at the top of this page......... Some of you are barely competent to ride a bike sober and God help everyone when you drink........... BUT!!!!!!!!! Not everyone is incompetent,some people are co-ordinated and have passed field sobriety tests with flying colors..... Of course some can't ride a bike without special boots, special pants, special coat, special gloves, special helmet and have to have taken a special riders course........ I know its hard for some of you to accept the fact that you are less competent than others..... No matter how much you protest or whine you just are not very good at riding,,,, and most of the time your half scared of your own shadow..............

I herein suggest that a new group purchase be initiated. I suggest a VERY LARGE life insurance policy be purchased for Mr. Peterson naming the person or persons funding said policy as the owners and beneficiaries. Based on the post above, it looks like a payout could be in the works in the near future as long as he does not change his detailed and clearly noted attitude about safety and riding in general.

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post #12 of 70 Old Nov 30th, 2007, 3:28 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petepeterson
I've rode and drank long before I could legally drink......Owned my own bar and drank beer everyday...... Never had a ticket cause I never drove stupid.... And I never drank and rode a test course set up for you to fail Thats just stupid and re-enforces stupid articles like at the top of this page......... Some of you are barely competent to ride a bike sober and God help everyone when you drink........... BUT!!!!!!!!! Not everyone is incompetent,some people are co-ordinated and have passed field sobriety tests with flying colors..... Of course some can't ride a bike without special boots, special pants, special coat, special gloves, special helmet and have to have taken a special riders course........ I know its hard for some of you to accept the fact that you are less competent than others..... No matter how much you protest or whine you just are not very good at riding,,,, and most of the time your half scared of your own shadow..............
Dang!! After 28 years of riding motorycles the year round, Pete here has finally exposed me as just another incompetent squid poser, wearing all that safety gear and taking all those special riders' courses for nothin'.

It should be very clear that some people are better equipped to learn from the experience of others, so I'd like to reserve 100 shares of the PP Life Insurance Fund. Ask any child what "PP" stands for.

... Gotta' go. I think my shadow is getting ready to stage another attack.
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post #13 of 70 Old Nov 30th, 2007, 8:17 pm
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sign me up - I will take 100 shares in this policy - recon 12 months max to pay out. Can we get 120 Mil?
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post #14 of 70 Old Nov 30th, 2007, 9:28 pm
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A Highway Patrol Officer from San Diego sums it up, "There's a certain Darwinian process that gets rid of the real bad riders real quick."

Wasn't going to post anymore on this thread,, waste of time probably Ya'll read way to much into things.... Even Mr. cop knows that there are incompetent riders out there...
And if you drank beer back in the day, and rode motorcycles then you drank and drove.....

I don't remember calling any of you left coasters "squids" or "posers" but you got the full length mirror by the door to check yourself out with

And vvk, no stirring the pot here,, but when you post something that has so much bias in it and does not reflect the real world but rather demonstrates a somewhat slanted view, well I just let you know there are other opinions out here in REAL life.....

And yes I've given more rides paid for more cabs and given away more sodas, chips, and sandwiches than the law allows..... My wife opened the bar so I'd have a place to drink without having the law called to me so much,, never was much for making profit....Check "Rip's Run" that EasyRiders put out, my bar is in there,, was one of the most popular biker friendly bars between Norfolk and Myrtle Beach,,,then the state put a bypass through it... Still have one watering hole left, last one heading south out of town so I'm real easy to find............So I don't need any lectures on the sins of drinking and driving, I've played doorman, bouncer, bartender, janitor since 1976,except when I was deployed.....

And lastly I need to not post so strongly,, I keep forgetting about the fragile egos around here ........Cheers ladies..........Pete

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post #15 of 70 Old Nov 30th, 2007, 10:19 pm
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Kinda says it all:

"The monkeys had found the lever."

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post #16 of 70 Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 9:38 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petepeterson
....Some of you are barely competent to ride a bike sober and God help everyone when you drink.
Yup! Keepin' it real, Pete! Word!
Quote:
Not everyone is incompetent,some people are co-ordinated and have passed field sobriety tests with flying colors.
Right on target, Pete. Many, many people I have pulled over are hard-core alcoholics--but functional. I'm amased at their ability. Most people would be passed out! The only thing that gives them away is their eyes (HGN onset).
Quote:
Of course some can't ride a bike without special boots, special pants, special coat, special gloves, special helmet and have to have taken a special riders course. I know its hard for some of you to accept the fact that you are less competent than others. No matter how much you protest or whine you just are not very good at riding. Most of the time your half scared of your own shadow.
That would be me! Not in the slightest afraid to admit it, either. In my next life, I'll be a good enough rider that I don't need special equipment or special riding courses. But in this life, a man has to know his lilitations. Now, my own shadow has snuck up on me enough times that I am now longer afraid of him. We're friends now!
Quote:
Originally Posted by petepeterson
A Highway Patrol Officer from San Diego sums it up, "There's a certain Darwinian process that gets rid of the real bad riders real quick."
Well, he got it half right, because there's also a condition that gets rid of a lot of good riders. It's called overconfidence! You can always spot these guys cause they're never quite as good as they THINK they are!
Quote:
Wasn't going to post anymore on this thread. Waste of time probably. Ya'll read way to much into things. Even Mr. cop knows that there are incompetent riders out there.....
But, don't ask me how I know!
Quote:
I don't remember calling any of you left coasters "squids" or "posers" but you got the full length mirror by the door to check yourself out with.
Well Pete, I don't know about "squids," but all the Socialists we have running around out here on the Left coast sure aren't posing!
Quote:
And vvk, no stirring the pot here,, but when you post something that has so much bias in it and does not reflect the real world but rather demonstrates a somewhat slanted view, well I just let you know there are other opinions out here in REAL life....And yes I've given more rides paid for more cabs and given away more sodas, chips, and sandwiches than the law allows. My wife opened the bar so I'd have a place to drink without having the law called to me so much, never was much for making profit. Check "Rip's Run" that EasyRiders put out, my bar is in there,, was one of the most popular biker friendly bars between Norfolk and Myrtle Beach,,,then the state put a bypass through it... Still have one watering hole left, last one heading south out of town so I'm real easy to find. So I don't need any lectures on the sins of drinking and driving, I've played doorman, bouncer, bartender, janitor since 1976,except when I was deployed....And lastly I need to not post so strongly. I keep forgetting about the fragile egos around here........Cheers ladies..........Pete
Pete, it always amazed me how a man's panties will start wadding upon seeing an alternate viewpoint. Thank you for thinking for yourself!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #17 of 70 Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 3:23 pm
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This is proof that some folks do get turned inside out at birth.......................

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post #18 of 70 Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 3:33 pm
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Jay Jacobson,, Thanks for the critique,,and for keeping it real....

I'm familiar with the LEO side of it also,,, My dad was retired CHP,, uncle retired Captain from the CHP and years ago my sister was the senior dispatcher for zone 5 (So. Cal.)... And up until 2 years ago my mom and dad published the Desert Dispatch online news letter for retired CHP officers....

Sometimes I just got to speak out when people think you can legislate equal ability

Lastly,, I just don't like someone looking down their nose at a group of people who average 55 years of age and lecture them like they are kids.... That and I haven't had a drop of alcohol in over 16 years .......Done

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post #19 of 70 Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 11:38 pm
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This is proof that some folks do get turned inside out at birth.......................
AND proof that some folks can think for themselves!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #20 of 70 Old Dec 4th, 2007, 5:36 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petepeterson
Jay Jacobson,, Thanks for the critique,,and for keeping it real....I haven't had a drop of alcohol in over 16 years .......Done
Good for you!
Well done.

I've rode and drank long before I could legally drink......Owned my own bar and drank beer everyday......

Did I hear somebody loud mouthin'?

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post #21 of 70 Old Dec 4th, 2007, 11:36 am
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She said, "How many group rides have you been on that were punctuated with alcohol? Ever notice how all the stopping places serve beer? And who's to say that a drink or two doesn't enhance the experience anyway?"

I can't recall every being on a group ride where anyone even THOUGHT of having a drink, except at day's end, after the bikes were put a way. I believe if I had, I would've separated from that particular group and headed off on my own.
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post #22 of 70 Old Jan 4th, 2008, 7:32 pm
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DUI Article

One of the British magazines did a similar test a couple of years ago. However they gave one rider alcohol, one drugs, deprived one of sleep and got one really cold. I if remember correctly the one's deprived of sleep and the cold rider came out worse by a reasonable margin.


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post #23 of 70 Old Jan 4th, 2008, 8:02 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axamax
One of the British magazines did a similar test a couple of years ago. However they gave one rider alcohol, one drugs, deprived one of sleep and got one really cold. I if remember correctly the one's deprived of sleep and the cold rider came out worse by a reasonable margin.
So imagine the results with a cold drunk rider who is also sleep deprived after taking his drugs!!!

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post #24 of 70 Old Jan 5th, 2008, 7:42 am
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She said, "How many group rides have you been on that were punctuated with alcohol? Ever notice how all the stopping places serve beer? And who's to say that a drink or two doesn't enhance the experience anyway?"

I can't recall every being on a group ride where anyone even THOUGHT of having a drink, except at day's end, after the bikes were put a way. I believe if I had, I would've separated from that particular group and headed off on my own.
Neither have I but I believe it depends on the "group". Take for example this group. Even when CCR was held at a winery resort I didn't see anyone drinking and riding.

A few years ago we had two motorcycle rallies on successive weekends in Greenville. It illustrated very well how different facets of the motorcycling community have their own norms. The first weekend was a HOG rally. Many of the local watering holes (Hooters, etc.) put up tents in the parking lots to handle the overflow, and they had lots of customers.

The following week the Gold Wing Touring Association held its rally. None of the bars bothered putting up the tents. I don't recall seeing a Gold Wing parked at a bar the entire weekend. Seemed like the Dairy Queen was crowded, though.

This is not a Harley bashing post. Everyone in the first group that I encountered was nice, well behaved, etc. The point is that people take cues from the group they are in. And I agree with your last point. If the group you are with begins to "zig" in the wrong direction, it's time to "zag".

Personally, I've always applied by what I call the "One Beer Rule". If I've had one beer (or other adult beverage), I won't ride.
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post #25 of 70 Old Jan 5th, 2008, 10:30 am
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Quote:
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A Highway Patrol Officer from San Diego sums it up, "There's a certain Darwinian process that gets rid of the real bad riders real quick."

Yea...problem is, many times they happen to take a lot of innocent lives in the process. I know, 'cause I have to go explain to the children and preach the funerals.

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post #26 of 70 Old Jan 5th, 2008, 1:05 pm
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Yea...problem is, many times they happen to take a lot of innocent lives in the process. I know, 'cause I have to go explain to the children and preach the funerals.
Jack, how about when you have to make that door call? You have to explain to the family that there has been a bad collision and they need to come with you to the hospital right away. You know the guy is already tits up--or is about to be. But, you have to go through the process with the family--trying hard to remain emotionless--as the doctor explains that their loved one is no more--and the family explodes.

Worse, when you make that door call, and the family sees 2-4 of you walking up--and explodes! You haven't even said so much as one word yet. But the look in your eyes and your partner's eyes is worth a thousand words. Then, you STILL have to tell the family what happened and that they DO NOT need to come with you to the hospital. The coroner will be contacting them....

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #27 of 70 Old Jan 5th, 2008, 1:50 pm
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Been right there at the door with you guys more than once. Did it two weeks ago with a 13 year old at home. The mother was at work and was contacted by the police concerning the death of the father. The Officers were at the home, standing outside, waiting for the mom with the 13 year old daughter standing there with a scared, puzzled look on her face. They couldn't tell her what they already knew and they told me so.

Because I knew her (they attend our church), I called the mom and she asked me to go ahead and break the news to the girl before she got there and stay with her till she (the mom/wife) got home. You and I both know...THAT is the hard part of the job...the part that takes years off your life.

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post #28 of 70 Old Jan 5th, 2008, 2:12 pm
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Been right there at the door with you guys more than once. Did it two weeks ago with a 13 year old at home. The mother was at work and was contacted by the police concerning the death of the father. The Officers were at the home, standing outside, waiting for the mom with the 13 year old daughter standing there with a scared, puzzled look on her face. They couldn't tell her what they already knew and they told me so.

Because I knew her (they attend our church), I called the mom and she asked me to go ahead and break the news to the girl before she got there and stay with her till she (the mom/wife) got home. You and I both know...THAT is the hard part of the job...the part that takes years off your life.
Jack, I really think it's better if you guys always accompany us, or, we always accompany you to make those "special" notifications. I think it's more appropriate that you make notification because perhaps there is something that you can say, some words of hope, anything, to get the family through the impossible situation at hand. I just stand there like a F'G idiot!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #29 of 70 Old Jan 5th, 2008, 2:30 pm
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I hope you weren't drinking when you killed this thread.........

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I'm tired of people telling me what not to do. I wore seat belts since I started driving in 1978. When they passed a law that MADE me wear a seat belt I quit wearing one. I don't smoke but they are trying to pass a law that forbides smoking. When they do I will buy my first pack of cigarettes. My wife and I frequently ride 100 or so miles for lunch or dinner. When we do we usually have a beer or 2. I enjoy our regimine and don't really appreciate someone else telling me what to do. You say I'm impared, What about old people that simply no longer have (or maybe never did have) the skills to drive. How about younger people that can't drive. How about schools that expel students because they brought a cough drop or toy soilder carring a GUN to school. I agree if your falling down drunk you shouldn't be on the road. I agree if a kid brings a real gun or dope to school he needs dealt with severely. If I have 2 or 3 drinks and drive and I'm still driving better than 80% of the people on the road LEAVE ME ALONE. Thanks for enduring my ramblings.
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post #31 of 70 Old Jan 5th, 2008, 6:43 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob1200rtc1
....What about old people that simply no longer have (or maybe never did have) the skills to drive. How about younger people that can't drive....
Bob, do you have any clue what the TOTAL number of traffic related deaths in this country every year are? Astronomical! Yet, people are still allowed to ride around in these huge "assault" vehicles. I've long maintained that we need a ten day waiting period before people are able to just carelessly hop into their "assault" vehicle and kill dozens of people in an instant!

Now, I've heard of this "assault" LT. It's this huge, almost 1000 pound, grand touring rocket--on two wheels. It's especially dangerous because the owners often highly modify it, allowing the rider to wreak even more destruction! Because people don't recognize it as an "assault" vehicle, it's unconventional and must be banned immediately to keep you, the public, safe!

I see that beer in your hand via my special Kameras! Put it down!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #32 of 70 Old Jan 5th, 2008, 8:02 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob1200rtc1
I'm tired of people telling me what not to do.
When you're on your road, feel free to do as you please.

When you're on a shared road, however....

BTW, have you informed your health/vehicle insurance providers about your refusal to wear seat belts?

I'll bet they'd love to know!
If not...why not?
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post #33 of 70 Old Jan 6th, 2008, 8:52 am
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Huge difference in driving impaired and driving after you have had a drink. I too will enjoy a beer or two with dinner and then ride so what?

12 oz beer equals .2, or a glass of wine , or a mixed MEASURED drink. If I have dinner and it is a 1 and a 1/2 hours or two, a full meal, coffee and desert after, no way am I impaired, period.

Your body metabolizes .2 and hour so with food, in a two hour period, I doubt 2 beers would show even .2.

We are all adults and you make choices. Back in the day we rode and drove pretty drunk. I remember in High School being stopped for a traffic issue we were drunk, and the cop made us park the car, and gave us a ride home with the warning he did not want to see the car move until morning, it didn't.

Now I would never think of driving drunk, but I have driven after I drank. There is a HUGE difference. I at 51 don't need anyone telling me not to drive drunk, I KNOW that.

And the point of peoples ability's drunk or sober is probably more important. If you cant ride well or proficient sober, I have no sympathy for you drunk. And if you are too vain to know your limits and know when to say enough weather it is riding motorcycle, or drinking and driving then you need all the lessons the law can provide to you, and if you were going faster then your angel can fly, then you get what you get.

It is a shame that 44% of all bike fatalities involve alcohol, but those 44% need to be weaned from the herd. Sorry for being so callus but I have no respect or sympathy for anyone who can not make decisions that are good, when their life and others on the road are at risk.

I am all for thinning the herd................

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post #34 of 70 Old Jan 6th, 2008, 2:19 pm
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Here's one problem with drinking and driving...

QUOTE from the article:

"Drinking negates caution with everything—including how much you drink. It was curious to watch the guys mix drinks (and not just because they were seated at Art's kid's portable picnic table). They came into this test knowing it was to be very controlled and assuming they would only ingest a prescribed amount of alcohol. After two drinks they were mixing bigger drinks, after three, using less to cut them and finally swigging straight from the bottle. It says a lot about intentions, and that you need to expect you won't be reasoning the same way you did before you started drinking.

One of the biggest circumstances DUI riders cite is that they had a few too many. You don't eat a few too many hot dogs, do you? Alcohol has a voice that mimics your own. "You're fine," it says. "And you'll feel even better if you have another. You can still ride, just ride slow. And hey, that redhead sure is cute...wonder why you didn't notice her before. And look, she wants you..."

To me, that is the ridiculousness of Alcohol commercials that say, "Know when to say when" -- Alcohol impares your judgment...period. A very interesting article, to say the least.

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post #35 of 70 Old Jan 6th, 2008, 3:46 pm
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I have been thinking. Why should we be allowed to ride around on these high power motorsickles anyway? The maximum speed limit in PA is 65 mph. My R12RT has way more power than needed to go 65. Its so dangerous that once I turned the gas on a little to fast and (OH CRAP!) it lifted the front wheel. For a moment there I couldn't steer! Luckily I got that wheel back on the ground where it belongs. So I'm thinking, maybey we should all get together,call and write our congressman, and push for a ban on motorcycles over oh say 250cc. That should be more than enough to go 65 mph. The weight would be down,the gas milage way up and less pollution! (Al Gore will be SO happy). We will save lives in more ways than one! Then after we save all those people, lets get together and ban unhealthy FOOD! Do you realize how many people dies from heart attacks and other health problems due to being over weight? Guys we can SAVE THE WORLD here. Don't just read the words here. Read between the lines. Just my 2 cents
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post #36 of 70 Old Jan 6th, 2008, 4:02 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveb
When you're on your road, feel free to do as you please.

When you're on a shared road, however....

BTW, have you informed your health/vehicle insurance providers about your refusal to wear seat belts?

I'll bet they'd love to know!
If not...why not?
Bob, my Kamera sees that beer in your hand a Steve's Kamera sees that your not wearing seatbelts!

Let that be a lesson to you, mister!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #37 of 70 Old Jul 11th, 2008, 5:49 am
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

I have been a trauma nurse for 18 yrs. Had a guy come in one day after being involved in a m/c wreck,and died soon after.His blood alcohol level was .03. Well below the legal limit. The other riders said he was the best rider in their club. But I' sure you'll be fine with just one or two beers,that's all he had. And if you do get pulled over for DUI I can recommend the attorney that represented me after I got pulled over on my bike a few years back.He was able to keep the damages to a minimum at just about $7,000 dollars for a first time offender(not to mention the insurance rate hike). BTW my blood alcohol level .09.But I wasn't drunk either. Bob maybe you and your wife could drive a hundred miles and see a therapist about why you have such issues with rules and regulations. Better yet, buy a pack of cigarettes,and a six pack and let her rip.The judge and the guards at the jail have a lot of rules and regulations too.

Last edited by BeemerDreemer; Jul 11th, 2008 at 6:08 am. Reason: Forgot to mention how he died
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post #38 of 70 Old Jul 11th, 2008, 10:34 am
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DUI Interesting article!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeemerDreemer
I have been a trauma nurse for 18 yrs.....BTW my blood alcohol level .09. But I wasn't drunk either....
WTF?! An 18 year trauma nurse with a .09?!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #39 of 70 Old Jul 13th, 2008, 7:18 pm
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

Sorry, I just had to read this thread again. It still amazes me even after many months.

For those of you that drink and ride, even the one or two crowd, thanks.

I'm sure statistics are, in your opinion, for sissys but just so you know, it is a fact that riding a motorcycle (sober), instead of driving a car increases your chances of dying in a crash by 32 times.

We in the business call you folks job security. It's cold but, it's true. Hell, you probably think it's a good idea to go put your kids on the elks back for a quick, cute photo in places like Yellowstone or Rocky Mountain NP. Or, maybe you're certain that "loud pipes save lives". I'm sure you also think full face helmets are very dangerous because they decrease your ability to "hear" and reduce your peripheral vision. let's not forget that those helmets will "break your neck" if you crash.
This might come as a shock to the drinking riders out there but, you don't have the right to endanger other innocent lives. Hopefully, you don't misunderstand my ramblings. Please, if you think you're a better rider after a few drinks or the rest of us are a bunch of whiners and idiots, then, by all means, show us how cool you are and how pathetic we are. Put on your soup bowl helmet, cruise on down to your local "watering hole" on your way cool chopper and have at it. If you just kill yourself later, hey, that's just you. Way to go there "EasyRider" I'm sure you're family's proud..

One less in the gene pool.
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post #40 of 70 Old Jul 13th, 2008, 10:22 pm
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

Jeez Brian-NC,, The brain washing has consumed you ain't it??? There are people who can have a beer or two and drive home just fine.... They are very aware that they had those few beers and drive accordingly....Don't judge everyone on YOUR competence level....

I'm not sure if you are one or not but some around here think that because they are incapable of doing a task then nobody can.... To many people riding motorcycles are really not very good at it but their arrogance blinds them to reality...

18 years or 18 minutes doesn't necessarily give you special insight in to drinking and driving... I have been in the bar business off and on for 30 years, the last 20 years everyday....

Just to many people out there afraid of their own shadows, thinking smoking is going to kill them or riding without a helmet will kill them or lane splitting, God forbid a chunk of the sky will fall and hit them.......

Why in the hell don't ya'll get together and demand mandatory helmets for car drivers???? A far higher percentage of them die from head injuries than on motorcycles....Take that crusade up and chill on the threats to bikers for awhile!!!! Jeez................Pete

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post #41 of 70 Old Jul 13th, 2008, 10:27 pm
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
What's real funny is my tats have been done sober.

I'm real messed up.
That's easy to figure out...When you are drunk you're not going to spend money on pictures when there is more booze to be had.
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post #42 of 70 Old Jul 13th, 2008, 10:42 pm
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

If you are going to drink get off the public road and do a good job of it.
I live in the beer belt ,at the local dirt race tracks they have a no drivers drinking and racing rules and they are on private property .If weekend race car drivers have it figured out it must not be too tough a call.
Seems when you get a drivers permit you agreed to abide by the laws, is your word of any value?
I wonder if you could get a break on insurance rates if carrier did not have to pay off on a DUI collision ?
Drinking and riding is not worth it for me . If it is for you, don't take my family or me with you.

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post #43 of 70 Old Jul 14th, 2008, 3:39 pm
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

Quote:
Originally Posted by petepeterson
Jeez Brian-NC,, The brain washing has consumed you ain't it??? There are people who can have a beer or two and drive home just fine.... They are very aware that they had those few beers and drive accordingly....Don't judge everyone on YOUR competence level....
My problem with this attitude is that you've never tested yourself. You think you can ride just fine with a couple of beers... but one of the first things alcohol changes is your self-perception. (Isn't that the whole point of the stuff!)

So I challenge you and maybe some friends who are in your area: test yourself. Find a private spot, set up a cone course, and run it before and after drinking. Make sure to include the emergency lane change and stopping distance tests... they're very easy to set up and run.

Until you've got some proof that you're actually competent to ride a motorcycle after a few drinks, I'd appreciate it if you'd refrain from crowing about your abilities, and even more if you stop insulting other people's abilities when you have no evidence to base it on. (Making it home safe even after a couple of drinks doesn't count -- that doesn't demonstrate anything except maybe luck. As you yourself point out, it doesn't require a large amount of skill to make it home safe day after day.)

In short: put up or shut up.

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post #44 of 70 Old Jul 14th, 2008, 8:20 pm
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonafidebob
My problem with this attitude is that you've never tested yourself. You think you can ride just fine with a couple of beers... but one of the first things alcohol changes is your self-perception. (Isn't that the whole point of the stuff!)

So I challenge you and maybe some friends who are in your area: test yourself. Find a private spot, set up a cone course, and run it before and after drinking. Make sure to include the emergency lane change and stopping distance tests... they're very easy to set up and run.

Until you've got some proof that you're actually competent to ride a motorcycle after a few drinks, I'd appreciate it if you'd refrain from crowing about your abilities, and even more if you stop insulting other people's abilities when you have no evidence to base it on. (Making it home safe even after a couple of drinks doesn't count -- that doesn't demonstrate anything except maybe luck. As you yourself point out, it doesn't require a large amount of skill to make it home safe day after day.)

In short: put up or shut up.

I really don't think your reading and comprehension are up to par... Would you point out where I crowed about my drinking and driving abilities......

And you are real funny,, I looked all over town and could not find one place where traffic was going in and out of cones... Around here they use them to separate traffic.... And I'm quite aware of a few bottles of courage changing someones attitude...

Also,, nobodies abilities or lack of basic riding skills was insulted,, some people just can't ride very good, some can't play chess well, some can't swim a stroke.. So what,, alls I'm saying is DO NOT judge everyones ability by your own skill level,, you may be a great rider and I may be average at best.. But you may drink 2 beers and fall over on your bike and I drink 2 beer and am still only average at best..

And lastly I won't shut up OR put up neener,neener, neener!!!!

gbob....... Try to be informed on your state laws so you will sound a little more creditable,, you do know you can drink and drive legally... Its just against the law to drink to much and drive...

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post #45 of 70 Old Aug 27th, 2008, 10:45 pm
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

And lastly I won't shut up OR put up neener,neener, neener!!!!

Haha, you tickle my innards.
Wish your bar was a little closer, I'd stop in for a cold one.
Maybe I'll get out your way someday....

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post #46 of 70 Old Aug 28th, 2008, 2:44 am
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

I have driven when I was probably over the limit about forty years ago when, you could say, I was young enough not to know any better. I had had four pints because I expected my tee-total GF - now my wife - to drive but she decided she didn't fancy driving in the dark on roads she didn't know and I did. She and the other passengers said I was driving normally. I just didn't feel that I was and that was the first and last time I ever drank that much if there was any chance I might end up driving.

Someone mentioned tiredness earlier in the thread. Two pints over an evening should keep you under the British limit and that became my maximum intake. At the time I was working an early shift and had gone to a meeting of a motorcycle club on a 500cc single outfit that evening. I stayed chatting in the car park after the pub had closed and then set off for home along the unlit country lanes pushing midnight. It started to get misty, the six-volt headlight was as awful as usual and I lost the white line I was following. When it dawned on my tired and alcohol-dipped brain that something was wrong I was bouncing up the grass verge on the opposite side of the road. Adrenaline brought instant sobriety and wakefulness but it a real shock to the system!

As I've got older it's my impression that I'm more easily affected by alcohol so I drink less, if at all when I'm driving.

My two pennyworth to the thread.

Keith


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post #47 of 70 Old Aug 28th, 2008, 3:19 pm
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

We all have differing skill levels, and obviously Pete is way up there. That said, I'm an ATGATT guy, took the MSF course and I never ride impaired (drugs, alcohol, sleep deprived, migrane, whatever). I haven't had a serious accident in my 15 years of street bike riding. I take my shadow with me as company. I just like maximizing my odds.

Pete, if you are as good as you say, cudos to you!

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post #48 of 70 Old Aug 29th, 2008, 12:45 pm
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BennyBob
We all have differing skill levels, and obviously Pete is way up there.
Actually, as Pete has pointed out, he's making no claims about his skill level. And I have to give in on this one, he's absolutely right that different people will be affected by alcohol in different ways. (This Bulgarian guy, for example, is amazing.)

And again I have to agree with him that it's true that there are lots of people who could ride better drunk than lots of other people can ride sober. There are a lot of bad riders out there, not to mention the noobs that will at least get better with practice.

But I think all of that glosses over the point of the article, which is that every rider will perform worse after drinking, sometimes even drinking just a little bit. Given the inherent risks of motorcycling to begin with, doing something to lower your performance seems kind of dumb to me.

But, on the other hand, if someone is going to drink and drive in the first place, I'd personally prefer they ride a motorcycle. ...they're MUCH less of a danger to me and mine that way. (I have no ethical issues with vehicular assisted suicide.) A modest proposal for new drunk driving penalties: instead of a loss of license, they have to ride a scooter instead.
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post #49 of 70 Old Aug 29th, 2008, 1:42 pm
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

Many years ago I was given the following advice by a motorcycle traffic cop at a seminar:

It may well be that you can drive absolutely fine on four pints but the thing is, if there's a shunt, who is going to be believed to be the culprit: the drunk who was driving well or the sober bad driver who caused the crash? Either way, the drunk driver is probably going to go to gaol.

Keith


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post #50 of 70 Old Aug 29th, 2008, 1:44 pm
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Re: DUI Interesting article!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BennyBob
We all have differing skill levels, and obviously Pete is way up there. That said, I'm an ATGATT guy, took the MSF course and I never ride impaired (drugs, alcohol, sleep deprived, migrane, whatever). I haven't had a serious accident in my 15 years of street bike riding. I take my shadow with me as company. I just like maximizing my odds.

Pete, if you are as good as you say, cudos to you!
It may not be a 'skill level' we are discussing, but the ability to function well after drinking several drinks - which a poster here says he can do very well. Sad to say I know some people that can't function at all until they have had several drinks. The very real problem these very folks actually have is that they can't function when sober.

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