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Happy Hour! Massachusetts Considering Bringing Back Excessive Drinking

November 16th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

The title of this blog at first glance doesn’t seem right and quite frankly sounds outrageous, but after giving this considerable thought I think it’s most apropos and fitting that I chose to write this heading. It means exactly what it states. The State Senate passed an amendment to bring back “happy hour” which the former Governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, painstakingly worked some 27 years ago to put a ban on; the name happy hour and the practice of offering free drinks or discounts only encourages people to drink excessively within a short period of time.
A letter written to The Boston Globe reads as follows: “This will give badly needed employment to people in many sectors of our economy, including emergency room staffs, funeral home employees, grave diggers, and monument makers.” This is obviously an inflammatory response and I wouldn’t personally make such a provocative statement, but one cannot deny that happy hour promotes binge drinking and can ultimately lead to the aforementioned.
Some advocates of happy hour maintain that casinos give away free drinks as standard operation and wonder why bars and other such establishments ought to be denied the right to do the same. I think the answer to this is obvious: people patronizing a casino are there to gamble and are not looking to just get intoxicated; furthermore, a casino provides an overnight place to stay and one is not inclined to get drunk and immediately get into his or her car.
The only people I can ever imagine being upset about a no “happy hour” law are bar owners and heavy drinkers. College students who don’t have much spending money may also be heard complaining about these laws. According to the New York Times, a 23 year old graduate student from Cambridge was quoted as saying, ‘I’m a grad student; I can’t afford a bunch of drinks at a price of $5.50 a beer.” My response to someone who says this is – good! The fact that young college students are doing much of the heavy drinking makes the lifting of the ban all the more disturbing. Everyone ought to know that more than three drinks within an hour would put you over the legal driving limit especially for a woman who may be smaller.
This is a no-brainer; keep the ban on happy hour and let us crack down hard on drunken driving. So WhadaYaThink ? What do you Think? I was a college student once and I loved happy hour. However, I also used to drink too much; and I know for a fact that I drank more when the drinks were free or discounted. To save money, I would drink as much as I possibly could within that hour or two. This just is just common sense.

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8 Responses to “Happy Hour! Massachusetts Considering Bringing Back Excessive Drinking”

  1. rick Says:

    here you go again mike.its not up to the nanny state to baby sit man kind.
    i enjoy going out to eat at 5 pm having 2 cocktails for the price of 1 with my steak dinner. its called personal responsibility.

  2. le duke de fromage Says:

    Mr. Tabor, As a former 30 year resident of the old “Bay “state, I can attest to the greed and corruption of its politicans. Within an atmosphere of over 40 colleges and universities in the greater BOSTON area, this ammendment will be well received. However this benefit comes with a heavy price, as mentioned in your blog. As of last visit the bars in Boston were not lacking for patrons even without a Happy Hour in effect. But, once again greed, short term thinking, and ill advised planning seem to prevail.

  3. Michael Tabor Says:

    Thank you Le Duke de Fromage. I hope a lot of people will see this.

  4. Michael Tabor Says:

    Hi Rick – You are a responsible adult and there is nothing wrong with 2 beers and a steak at a discounted price. However, sadly there are people who are not responsible, immature, and perhaps need as what you said “a nanny”. Rick, you cannot deny the fact that people (especially young people) use ‘happy hour’ as an excuse to get wildly intoxicated. Please re-think your position on this, it’a matter of life and death.

  5. rick Says:

    Personal responsibility and law tough on drunk driving (We have this). No Nanny needed. Florida has no such law against happy hour. I think if people truly want to get wasted, its not about Happy Hour Mike.
    I would be interested in seeing the DUI stats Mass vs Florida per capita and Drunk driving accidents casuing death stats.

  6. Michael Tabor Says:

    Rick here are the facts: click onto this link http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/alcohol/pireweb/images/2240pierfinal.pdf

    It’s very long so if you don’t have the time, feel free to just browse and read the salient points about “happy hour”. The facts speak for themselves.

  7. Vanessa Says:

    I grew in up in New Orleans and hung out in the French Quarter back when they did not check ID much if at all. In a high school of 1800 kids, I never once heard of a drunk driving accident and NOLA is a city with poor public transportation. Boston seems to be a town where having a car can be more trouble than it is worth and I imagine that most college students use public transportation. Drunk on MBTA? Not a huge deal.

    We can’t police and control everything. 21 years olds are supposed to be adults and if they are getting dead drunk, they need to suffer the consequences. Bar owners and the folks they employee are also supposed to cut drunken customers off and they should also suffer the consequences.

    Are there any stats that supported banning happy hour in the first place?

  8. Michael Tabor Says:

    Hi Vanessa,
    It is a shame that something that ought to be fun and affordable can ultimately lead to death. The statistics sadly indicate that overall, establishments that have ‘happy hour’ have a higher incidence of not only DWI but also extreme alcohol intoxication which ends in death.

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