Drinking and Riding

Drinking and Riding don't mix.

Drinking and Riding
Drinking and Riding

May 5

Today is Cinco de Mayo! So, in honor of that, I will take a break from the in-depth explanation of T-
CLOCS and talk a bit about drinking and riding. I want to give you this information so when that time
comes for you to enjoy some fun and festivities, you make good choices.
Let’s start with a scary statistic I found NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Association) that says:
With 47% of all fatal motorcycle crashes, the motorcyclist had a Blood Alcohol level above .08.
We are all adults. And as such, we are in charge of our own decisions on drinking. But remember:
alcohol effects our decision-making ability.  I choose to not drink when I am on my bike.  Some of you
can and do have a few drinks.

There are factors involved with that choice:

  • How much you drink, what you’re drinking, what medications you are taking, your size, what
    you've had to eat, and how fast you are drinking. You should know your limits and stick to them.
  • If you are concerned for a fellow rider who you think may have had too much and should not
    ride, then make sure you speak up!
    • If you are in an MC, you may have protocol for this. If not,
      there may be a road captain you can speak to. Tell them, or an officer (Chapter or National)
      your concerns. They will make sure the bike is safe for the night or will get someone to bring it
      home. We will get the person home safe as well.  
    • If you are not in an MC and are at an event or party, tell someone working security. If there is
      no one you can go to, then you talk to them. Don't accuse them or confront them, but talk to them. 
      • If all else fails, make it so they can't ride home.  
        • With cars we say ‘take the keys.’ That works for bikes that require keys, but for those Harley
          riders who do not lock their ignitions, this will not work.  
        • Don't flatten tires! They will still ride with flat tires when they are too drunk to notice.  
        • Locking the bike’s forks is good, sometimes moving the bike so they can't find it works as well.  
        • Getting the keys and locking the bike is a good plan.
        • Removing spark plugs, ignition fuses, unhooking the battery. Many clubs have a patch that says
          "I am my sister's keeper" or “I am my brother’s keeper.” That means we care enough to stop
          them from riding when they have had too much to drink.

To add to this, and what really opened my eyes to the effects of alcohol, was not an accident or training
but something I did in college.  We had a student education group that taught safe drinking, sex, and
other college issues to our peers.  One of the things we did was wear "Drunk" Goggles.  The goggles
simulated being at the .08 alcohol level.  I put them on and they had me do simple tasks like walk across
the room, tie my shoes, and catch a set of keys tossed at me. I was totally sober but could not do any of
those tasks. If you have the chance to try this experiment, it is quite the eye opener.   

Here is a link to the dial a ride page that has some good charts and statistics.   Please go look at this.
Here are some other good sites: