Sunday, 23 February 2014

Relaxing Alberta's Drinking Law?

Hey everyone,

Please forgive me if this blog post comes across a bit harsh and know that I am not intending it to be judgemental or antagonistic. I won't tell people how they should live and I don't intend to portray a "holier than thou" attitude. I write about this subject because there was a time when this would have exacerbated the temptation for me to drink my face off.

I want to discuss some thoughts about the recent relaxing of Alberta's drinking law so bars could open early in the morning for the Olympic hockey game. I'll state my opinion in advance and then proceed to examine the topic.

In a perfect world, liberty need not be hedged by government for the sake of our collective safety. On a philosophical level, I am very persuaded by libertarian arguments like that; however, in practice I think it is necessary for the government to "hold our hand" and set boundaries in the interest of public safety. Its a game of numbers. It is hoped that laws minimize harm and in that spirit I support restricting liquor establishments' hours of service so as to discourage all the social ills that come with the over-consumption of alcohol; (family violence, impaired driving and chronic health problems).

So my question is: Why relax the law for the Olympics? To me that says that the argument that restricting bars as mentioned above for the sake of minimizing the societal ills is NOT taken seriously by the government. If a law like that may be relaxed on "special" occasion then does the government really care about minimizing harm?

On another note; should we even be concerned by the "safety" and the "societal ills" issues at all; are they even legitimate concerns? If they aren't then maybe we should abolish the law entirely and allow bars to open whenever they want. Tomorrow the law will be back to the way it was... Why? If it was ok today why not tomorrow? 

I am concerned about this issue from a philosophical point of view and from a personal point of view. There was a time when I couldn't pass a liquor store without stopping for a case of beer. It was very difficult for me to overcome my addiction to alcohol. It took willpower, doctors assistance and the support of friends and family to do so but I did it.

Now I look back and can say that if I hadn't done so today would have been a complete write off for me. I would have made an ass of myself, possibly broken the law and weakened my health. I am SO glad that I can refrain from drinking. But I have empathy for those who can't. Did the government just enable and encourage them?

Now one may say that those who have a serious addiction to alcohol don't need an excuse to drink and that they will do so regardless. To which I say; so what, why do we need to add to it?

Ive been trying to write a blog about my personal battle with alcohol addiction for a long time and I am not quite ready to do so. I have started the blog, however fear has prevented me from publishing it. It is saved to my google drive. It will eventually come out but not now. Suffice it to say: 2 YEARS SOBER!

What are your thoughts about this subject? Was it necessary for the government; seemingly out of the blue, to relax the law? Was it bad? I am seriously interested in seeing some numbers. I wonder if there was a spike in DUIs this morning or if statistically it didn't make a difference.

Finally I really want to know what the motivations were for doing this? Aren't there more pressing matters for our government to address; such as the situation with AUPE, or the Environment Canada Tar Sands Study for example?

Please leave your comments below on this blog, reply to me on Twitter @Wieler4RD, Google+ or on Facebook.


Have a great day! Woot Woot for Canada!