Tonight is the night of the DUI, as well as, in alert police districts, drunk sitting. Regarding the latter, an acquaintance of mine in a 12-step program got nailed entering her car blotto and then turning on the key.
When reported in the newspaper, especially if the miscreant is well known, the DUI seems a horror. How could anyone risk the lives that could be snuffed out by drunken driving? The reality is that most drunks don't feel impaired. In fact, most never felt better, thanks to the effects of alcohol. So, they tend to be puzzled why such extreme measures are taken by the authorities. In my current 12-step group in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, one member is now absent, serving a stiff sentence in jail. In my former 12-step group in North Haven, Connecticut, one member had been in prison twice and has lost her driving license for life.
Like most things in human life, the state of drunkeness is not a condition the drunk is aware of. That's where others come in. The burden of stopping harmful behavior, including getting into a vehicle and driving, is on them. Yeah, sure, call the police to come arrest the friend who just got into the car for drunk sitting.