‘One for the Road’ Looks at History of Drunk Driving in America
One for the Road, a book by Barron Lerner, a professor medicine and public health at Columbia University takes a look at drunk driving over the past century, and how attitudes and practices related to drunk driving has changed over the years.
As he wrote the book, Lerner used himself as a guinea pig in an experiment that involved vodka, a shot glass, and a Breathalyzer. No vehicle was involved in the experiment, however. Lerner shared: “I was trying to figure out just how drunk you had to be in order to not drive safely… And, as I suspected after doing my research, one can drink an awful lot and be pretty buzzed and still legally drive in the United States.”
Lerner found out that his blood alcohol level rose to .08 after having five shots of vodka. “Of course, .08 would be illegal, but .075 would be fine, so the point was made… It showed me that we have a very lenient level in this country. That in contrast to other countries where levels are much stricter — much lower — you can still drink an awful lot in this country and get into your car and drive legally. And that bothered me, having worked on research on this topic for such a long time, that things are still that way,” Lerner shared.
Lerner also wrote about how public attitudes towards drunk driving, and towards victims of tragedies due to drunk driving, have changed. There was a time, he wrote, when victims were seen simply as being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Nowadays, people hold drunk drivers more responsible for the consequences of their actions.Tags: drunk driving book, drunk driving history, drunk driving in America, drunk driving in the US, One for the Road, One for the Road book