Go Back   Motorcycle Forum > Motorcycle.Com General Discussion > Motorcycle General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-21-2007, 06:17 AM   #1
Kenneth_Moore
Registered Member
 
Kenneth_Moore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: VIsiting the GIft Shop in the Pit of DIspair
Posts: 7,118
Default R.U.I. - Motorcycling in a Drug Crazed Society

Our society is filled with contradictions. We continually espouse basic principles that reality denies. One of my favorite examples of this comes from the Judeo-Christian Bible, in which the Old Testament has 10 Commandments. The number one Commandment is “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” Yet we, as a society, consciously decide to do just that on a regular basis, both individually and sanctioned, or conducted by, the government. I have no desire to discuss the merits of capital punishment here, or anything related to that issue. Rather, my point is, that we have another Commandment: “Thou Shalt Not Ride Under the Influence.” And yet, on an almost daily basis, the motorcycling community, and society in general, sanctions, supports, and promotes activities that fly in the fact of that Commandment. Is that wrong? Is there truly a contradiction here?

Take the local “Bike Night.” Around here, they’re almost always held at bars. And the bars go out of their way to make sure that all the attendees have ample access to a variety of alcoholic drinks, usually at low, low, wallet-saver prices. The “Poker Runs” that are held have a variety of stops, and almost always, they’re either bars, or motorcycle related retail establishments. Obviously the bars are selling alcohol, but interestingly, even the bike shops will usually manage to find a way to make sure everyone gets a cold beer. Or three. As for the big bike events, well… In my earlier years in motorcycling, especially with the HD community, I can honestly say that alcohol poisoning or drug overdose was a clear and present danger as the days of the event progressed. Someday I may write up a few trips to Daytona Bike Weeks, but will most certainly be anonomously. Statute of Limitations, and all that stuff.

You might say something like: “well, anyone can drink irresponsibly, but most people can manage to have a few beers or drinks and not become impaired.” I don’t know what the laws are in your community, but in Florida, the legal Blood Alcohol Level is .08. That is an extremely low threshold, one that most people would fail if they had a beer and a few minutes later were given a breath test. If you’re under 21 in Florida, the legal level is .02, so virtually any alcohol consumption is illegal. How much alcohol is too much? Is any alcohol ok? If you feel “buzzed,” are you by definition unfit to ride? If your intent wasn’t to get buzzed, why not drink one of the no-alcohol beers (some of which are pretty good these days) or get a soda or sport drink?

Let’s toss drugs in the mix. Another fine contradiction in our society is the schizophrenic attitude on them. One the one hand, we have extremely draconian drug laws, we spend billions on policing them, and we have literally millions of people in prison for crimes related to the preparation, distributions, or consumption of drugs. Yet millions of Americans, from teens (or younger) to middle-aged adults, consume illegal drugs, often on a daily basis. Like the First Commandment, I have no desire to discuss if drugs should be legal, or anything related to that. Yet, every day, thousands of riders toke up before they ride, do a line or two at the local club, or meth, or whatever that drug might be. In this case, the law is in no way reflective of the reality.

It’s not just illegal drugs either. There has been an explosion in legally prescribed narcotics in this country. Oxycodon, Vicodin, and other narcotic based painkillers are being prescribed at rates that stagger the mind, as well as the body. I read a statistic the other day that indicated enough Oxycodon and Vicodin were prescribed in 2006 to give a 30 milligram dose to every man, woman, and child in the country. Emergency room cases of prescription drug overdoses are rising rapidly. Many riders are getting on their bikes after taking these medications. Perhaps they have an injury or arthritis, and using the pills makes riding less painful. Or maybe they take them to enjoy the effect. Either way, there is no doubt that an increasing number of riders are R.U.I., in this case, legally, and except in extreme cases, undetectably.

So, where do we go with this? Do we say it’s ok to ride after a couple of beers or splitting a joint with a friend? Is any influence of drugs or alcohol unacceptable? Will the industry begin supporting “Buzz Free Bike Night” instead of “Free Beer Bike Night?” Will Tiny Tim ever be able to ride his chopper with his dual-feed beer hat on and not get hassled by the Man? I sure don’t know, what do you think?
__________________
www.kennethmoore.org
Kenneth_Moore is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links Remove Advertisements
Motorcycle Forum
Advertisement
Old 08-21-2007, 06:30 AM   #2
longride
Super Duper Mod Man

 
longride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Anywhere they let me
Posts: 10,479
Default

I think people will do what people will do. No amount of coaching will help them. When I was young I was drinking every night and nobody could have talked me out of it. These days I rarely drink and never to excess. Riding while impared just increases your chances of biting the big one. I knew a guy that rode a Honda 360 drunk every day for about 9 years and he never fell. Sometimes God rides with fools, sometimes he meets them in person.

[Jim downs a bottle of whiskey in one long guzzle]
Bart: A man drink like that and he don't eat, he is going to DIE.
Jim: When?
__________________
I'm a knucklehead

Last edited by longride : 08-21-2007 at 06:35 AM.
longride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2007, 07:31 AM   #3
seruzawa
The Toad

 
seruzawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: 8501 ft.
Posts: 17,461
Default

What's new? The War on Some Drugs continues. For some strange reason being a heroin addict is considered a character flaw but being an SSRI junkie is considered respectable. The main difference between the two is that the govt and drug companies can't monopolize the production of heroin and would lose billions in profit and taxes.

Our society pretends to be against drugs but pushes them down throats at an early age and never lets up. Those "Drug Free Zone" signs on the schools really crack me up. In Utah 20% of the kids are on speed and half the teachers are on Valium.

And how many stinking drug commercials do you see on the tube? The latest scam is "non-addictive" sleep drugs. Yeah right. Heroin was originally sold as a "non-addictive" replacement for morphine. You can certainly believe the drug hawkers. Fen-Phen anyone?
__________________
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."

Last edited by seruzawa : 08-21-2007 at 07:37 AM.
seruzawa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2007, 08:16 AM   #4
bbtowns
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 540
Default

I attended a poker run put on by the local cruiser group on New Years Day, several of the stops were at bars. Don't know what the organizers were thinking, other than beer tastes good. Hard to believe they can get insurance (if they do) with those kind of stops. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not really interested in riding with a bunch of drunk folks. Strap a tent on my bike, and I'm happy to drink till the sun rises (and then sleep all day), but drinking and riding seems like riding without protective gear, just asking for a problem.
bbtowns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2007, 08:28 AM   #5
mscuddy
MODERATOR X

 
mscuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Next to my still checkin the temp.
Posts: 5,449
Default

Interesting topic Mr. Moore.

..drugs are big business here in the USA. If illicit drugs were legalized, what would happen to all the probation officers, drug testers, and rehab places? They'd all go out of business, and the creeps who make a living on the backs of drug users would have to get a real job.

One thing is clear, there are three types of people. Folks who never use drugs, people who use drugs now and then, and function well within the bounds of society, and people who use and abuse drugs, and die, or end up incarcerated. This is the same across the board, wheter drugs are legal, or not.

Look at Italy for example. You can walk into a pharmacia and purchase most everything "over the counter" without a prescription. This puts the resonsibility for drug use on a personal basis. It also pulls the props out of the underground drug trade, and takes the "forbidden" aspect out of the picture, as drugs are readily available to anyone. Again, for people who will never use drugs. Those who do, and still function, and for those who abuse drugs, and die.

Looking back on my own past, beer & weed played a major role in my weekend dirt biking. We'd ride to some watering hole ine the middle of nowhere, down a few pitchers of brew, and ride back to camp. Drink some more beer. Ride again, rinse, repeat. Ride to the top of that hill overthere, and somoke a doobie. It was never a problem, 'cause we were in the dirt, away from cement curbs, and steel cars. Doing the same thing on a street bike can have dire consiquences, but we know that already, right?
__________________
A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.
mscuddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2007, 09:51 AM   #6
Buzglyd
Founding Member
 
Buzglyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 10,904
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by longride View Post
I think people will do what people will do. No amount of coaching will help them. When I was young I was drinking every night and nobody could have talked me out of it. These days I rarely drink and never to excess. Riding while impared just increases your chances of biting the big one. I knew a guy that rode a Honda 360 drunk every day for about 9 years and he never fell. Sometimes God rides with fools, sometimes he meets them in person.

[Jim downs a bottle of whiskey in one long guzzle]
Bart: A man drink like that and he don't eat, he is going to DIE.
Jim: When?
We're going to fix that whole "I rarely drink and never to excess" crapola when I fly out there in a couple of weeks!
Buzglyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2007, 10:17 AM   #7
trenttheuncatchable
Founding Member
 
trenttheuncatchable's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 901
Default

It's always a matter of how much risk you're willing to take on. I wear a helmet and gear, and have seen enough motorcycle racing on tv to not be too worried about the fall off the bike. However, impacting a car (or other object) in front of me, or getting run over, that's what'll probably maim or kill me. Not much I can do about it except not to ride, which is not something I'm willing to do.

Drinking or taking drugs before getting on a bike doesn't make any sense to me either, but those who do so just aren't willing to give it up, and there's nothing I can do about it, so why worry about it? I'm already vigilant when I ride.

I was at the local Harley dealer on a weekend, and they were handing out free beer. They had a tent sale, and there was a donation container for some charity. I don't really have an issue with it, because I know that if I were to have a beer I'd stay off the bike for an hour to let it metabolize. More beers just means more time off the bike, and I know some guys can spend hours at these events. So it's just a matter of knowing your limits and sticking to them. If you don't do that, it's your problem. Just keep your bike away from me so you causing an accident doesn't impact me
trenttheuncatchable is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2007, 10:30 AM   #8
ER1B
Founding Member
 
ER1B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The great state of Houston
Posts: 41
Default

Integrity/morality is a trait of convenience. The hipocracy of mankind never ceases to amaze me. My ex-brother-in-law was a 'born again' Christian who loved Nascar. When his favorite driver switched from a tobacco company sponsor to a beer sponsor, he no longer supported him. The old alcohol is evil thing. I asked how he could consider tobacco any better? Not the same, he says. Oh, I forgot, tobacco farmers support your church, says I. I pointed out that tobacco and beer money have made Nascar the powerhouse it is today. How can you differentiate? No answer, just a frustrated look. Obviously I just don't 'get it'....
ER1B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2007, 11:06 AM   #9
seruzawa
The Toad

 
seruzawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: 8501 ft.
Posts: 17,461
Default

We can go a step further here. The elderly are at least as dangerous as drunks and many are on so many medications that they are only barely sane. Yet any attempt to require more frequent testing of the elderly is met with a storm of self-righteous anger from the AARP, as if someone has the God given to endanger everyone else just because they reach the age of 70.

I've come far closer to being wiped out by doddering old coots on their way to church (or barreling down the road in their motor homes) than any number of m/cers who had a couple of beers.
__________________
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
seruzawa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2007, 11:29 AM   #10
longride
Super Duper Mod Man

 
longride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Anywhere they let me
Posts: 10,479
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzglyd View Post
We're going to fix that whole "I rarely drink and never to excess" crapola when I fly out there in a couple of weeks!
I have my lead shoes and my marker flags ready!
__________________
I'm a knucklehead
longride is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off