Many of us look forward to the time after work where we can relax, have a few drinks with co-workers or friends, and just unwind from the day. Happy Hour is a time that any adult can understand, as it marks the end of another workday where our cares and worries are quickly set aside for a beer or two. The actual “Happy Hour” as we know it today, originated during prohibition as alcohol was no longer served in public establishments, but was a secret practice in more private areas. It is also said that the actual phrase to describe this evening ritual came from the U.S. Navy, where “Happy Hour” marked a time for sailors to let loose and get, well, happy… typically with the help of alcohol.
Today, Happy Hour is best known for discounted alcoholic beverages and appetizers in bars and restaurants across the country. It is still scheduled at a convenient time, typically between the end of the work day and before a person must be home for dinner or to tend to family matters. While “Happy Hour” may still be celebrated as a time for relaxing, there comes a cautionary lesson in the many factors that may lead a person to drive after consuming too many alcoholic beverages.
Less expensive beers, wine or cocktails can easily persuade a responsible drinker to have “one for the road,” a dangerous practice for anyone else who may be driving at the time, as well as for any passengers in the car. Intoxicated drivers, even if under the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit, are still impaired drivers and can make poor judgment calls when it comes to traffic. Compounding this problem is that in many areas, the evening commute can last well into Happy Hour, creating more chances for a buzzed or drunk driver to cause an accident, injury or death, due to the sheer number of vehicles on the road.
For those who are Happy Hour regulars, or, even those who are occasionally meeting up for the fun, always remember that there is a danger involved with any amount of alcohol that is consumed before driving. Be sure to exercise caution, and keep everyone enjoying Happy Hour in your area for years to come.