Sunday, April 14, 2013

Germans, Alcohol, and Drunks

For an American living around Germany....the extent of temptation is significant.  Germans have spent generations brewing beer, developing wine categories  and distilling just about every kind of alcohol that a man can imagine.  You can sit at a local pub, and spend four hours sipping through various beers, and toss a shot of Jagermeister, than skip over to a peach brandy, and find yourself easily intoxicated.

So the question would come Germans get drunk on evenings out?  Most Germans have some self-established limit in mind when they enter a pub.  They start with a certain beer, and maybe have the intent of leaving after the second beer two hours later.

If you look around your tend to notice pubs all on a street, and guys simply walking home....not driving.  This is one of the advantages of living in a small town, and the ability to walk home.

Drunken driving?  You tend to notice that cops do set up check-points at the ends of a town on Friday and Saturday night.  They look for a heavy traffic area, and might be set up by ten in the evening and run this for several hours.  What a German will admit privately....they really hate this but it's a necessity.  There's also this private German wants to be noted as a DWI (your license is in real jeopardy, with way of getting out of the mess).  So if there was a point after work of stopping and having a few in the old days....they've stopped this attitude, and limited themselves to strictly one beer after work on the way home.

Drunks?  Every village of a thousand residents....probably has five or six people who are excessive drinkers and ought to be on some program.  The odds of them ever getting into a program?  Their healthcare insurance would cover it.....but it's always a problem to get some guy to admit it's at that level.

Kids now drunks?  Up until the 1980s....most everyone would have laughed and said no.  The attitude today is that one kid out of ten is drinking (at age fifteen) on a regular basis and can't control their intake. Schools are noting this and the local social offices are now inviting themselves into situations on a weekly basis.  Alcohol rehab programs for German kids are happening over all of Germany.

A problem?  Germans aren't like Americans....with a political agenda of going after alcohol consumption.  They might see the necessity of taking on the youthful drinkers and forcing some changes there.  But overall?  The cops will say they do a decent job and round up heavy drinkers each weekend.   DWI accidents still occur, and newspapers tend to report the facts to the public.

A difference between the US and Germany?  If anything....Germans aren't into the mixed cocktails that much, and on a typical evening....stick mostly with beer or wine.  A pub in Germany with food offerings?  Usually not, but your local restaurant pubs always offer up some pizza service or a bratwurst. And the late afternoons in July in a beer garden...with trees covering you and offering shade....those experiences are worth a million bucks.

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