You don’t need alcohol to enjoy summer

For some bizarre reason, summer activities in Alberta are inconceivable unless alcohol is consumed.

For some bizarre reason, summer activities in Alberta are inconceivable unless alcohol is consumed.

Mary-Ann Barr’s final paragraphs in her July 28, 2009, Barrside cite her support for this phenomenon.

“But two people on a raft in the river with a six-pack, what’s the big deal?

Let’s lighten up a little. It’s summer.”

Ms. Barr, given your position, I’d appreciate you considering my points:

• Provided that its acceptable to consume alcohol for rafters on our waterways, is it equally acceptable for the “boys” to refresh themselves with a few beers as the play basketball on the community court?

Or is it acceptable for wiener roast aficionados in Rotary Park to dive into their coolers for their brews?

Or is it reasonable for tennis players on public courts to quench their thirst with beer?

Consumption of alcohol in public settings is regulated, and thankfully so. I do not enjoy having my leisure time compromised by people reliant on alcohol to have a good time.

I suspect that most parents are in agreement that they don’t want their children exposed to open alcohol consumption along with the all-too-frequent boorish behaviours exhibited by the imbibers.

• According to the website, a typical 54 kg (120-pound) female consuming three beers over the course of two hours would have a blood alcohol content of 0.09, which would render this woman to be incapable of driving a car in Alberta.

Two such women refreshing themselves with a six-pack on a hot Sunday afternoon as they float along the river leaves me to question, “Who’s the designated driver piloting the car home?”

Ms. Barr, this scenario is truly a big deal, especially to innocent drivers who may have their safety jeopardized by these female rafters.

Without considering the extra impaired drivers generated by your suggestion of police turning blind eyes to rafters with six-packs, we already have a serious problem with impaired drivers, and individuals driving while disqualified (often because of impaired driving).

I truly believe that our laws must be enhanced such that no one would dare drive impaired.

Perhaps, drivers should have no level of alcohol permitted. Violations would result in automatic stiff fines and immediate lengthy licence suspensions.

Individuals driving while disqualified would garner harsh mandatory jail terms.

We can’t trust drinkers to regulate themselves because they simply don’t.

Alcohol has evolved into a staple. Alcohol is everywhere.

Indeed, it’s rare to attend any sport or theatre venue where alcohol isn’t served.

Granted, most people are responsible; however, I’ve witnessed over-zealous drinkers removed from football stadiums, boisterous imbibers at opera houses gentled calmed by exceedingly gracious ushers, and dinner theatre actors having to incorporate into their repertoire the drunken party who refuses to quiet.

Not all people are irresponsible; nevertheless, the rights of the responsible must be protected.

Discouraging alcohol consumption on our waterways is definitely a desirable first step.

Patti Yackulic

Red Deer

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