Just in time for New Year's Eve, a local news radio station reported today on the dangers of walking after drinking. This isn't news. Anyone who has ever consumed a large quantity of alcohol already knows that walking can be challenging and potentially dangerous. Isn't walking straight the most common--and therefore I presume the most difficult--field sobriety test administered by police officers when you get pulled over for drunk driving?
I am not one to let the killjoys get the best of me, though. This afternoon, purely in the name of science, I consumed a large quantity (I didn't measure, but it was a couple inches of the bottle) of Skyy citrus vodka. Then I went downtown for dinner. Walking to the train station was uneventful aside from an especially hearty "Happy New Year" wish to an older but attractive neighbor walking her dog. The vodka didn't really hit me until I got on the train. For a moment I pondered the likelihood of getting sick on board, but this concern was unfounded. Actually, my greater worry was falling asleep and missing my transfer stop. But when the time came, I successfully rose to my feet and stepped out of the train in a more-or-less straight line, though I may have swayed a bit while waiting for the next train.
After successfully boarding the train and riding to my destination, I sought the ease of the escalator out of the station as opposed to the coordination-requiring stairs. On the walk from the station to a restaurant, I was especially careful at intersections. I sure would look foolish getting run over while walking after drinking after making fun of a news report about walking after drinking. My bigger concern as someone who doesn't drink a lot very often was whether every single approaching pedestrian could recognize my intoxicated state. Not likely, I figured, unless I walked into a parking meter or puked on someone's boots. At the restaurant I waited for my table, eyes slightly glazed. Then I sat down and started sucking up Cokes (I'm too cheap to drink alcohol when I'm out). Slowly my sobriety returned and the New Year's Eve drunken walking experiment drew to a close.
Admittedly, my results were influenced by the report I had heard earlier as well as my awareness of being part of an experiment. My innate cautiousness is only slightly impaired by alcohol, so I suppose that makes walking around drunk a little less dangerous for me.