Alcohol and Situational Awareness- Incompatible?

This is a discussion on Alcohol and Situational Awareness- Incompatible? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Full disclosure: I quit drinking 38 years ago (at the age of 31) because I didn't like what it did to me. Haven't had one ...

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Thread: Alcohol and Situational Awareness- Incompatible?

  1. #31
    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    Full disclosure: I quit drinking 38 years ago (at the age of 31) because I didn't like what it did to me. Haven't had one since.

    The short version of my opinion on drinking:

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the affects of alcohol. Every consumer of legal age knows what the affects are. So knowing the affects in advance, anything that happens as a result of imparement resulting from consuming alcohol should be accepted as done on purpose. If it happens because of drunkeness it isn't an accident because being drunk is a choice, not an accident.

    Fitch
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  3. #32
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjh2657 View Post
    Your logic is sound. The point is that it would not appear so (even though, it again is sound) to the mother involved. Sober people do not use the argument "I am not responsible because I was sober" but drunk drivers (or their lawyers) invariably use the counter agrument, "I was drunk, I couldn't help it."

    Having an accident because of drowsiness or road conditions are accidents occuring because of bad choices also (you could stay home) but they do occur due to natural causes. Drinking is a man made choice and self inflicted, therefore harder to accept.
    Ahh, to the contrary. Sober people use excuses all the time. Like the light was just yellow so I sped up, I looked away for just a second to get something out of my purse, I spilled coffee in my lap and was wiping it up, I was changing the radio station, or simply I didn't see the big yellow bus with flashing lights and a stop sign with a kid exiting it. I am certain that some of the LEO's on this forum could fill an entire thread of the excuses that even sober people give for doing stupid things and causing accidents and deaths. I am pretty certain that the drunk folks come up with funnier excuses. Not all accidents are caused by weather conditions, and even the ones that are could be avoided if folks simply slowed down and paid attention to what they were doing. Being drowsy should not be excused any more than being drunk when one is driving. If you know your drunk and impaired you shouldn't drive, if you know your drowsy and are impaired you shouldn't drive either.

    Of course this isn't what the thread is about, but the same holds true for carrying a gun in my view. If you don't have the mental capacity to carry a gun you should leave it home, whether you have had no alcohol or some alcohol. If you're prone to doing stupid things and having to make excuses for them, regardless of what the excuse is, you might want to reconsider your choice of actions whether it is about a gun, a car or life in general.


    I certainly hope people don't get the idea that I am advocating getting drunk and carrying a gun or driving a car etc. To the contrary. However there are people in this world that don't instantly become stupid after one drink, and there will always be people who are stupid when stone cold sober. We should be able to separate them when talking about issues instead of thinking one size fits all.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelcarry View Post
    IF YOU ARE CONSIDERED DRUNK BY SOME STANDARD OF THE LAW AND YOU ARE CC AND YOU SHOOT SOMEONE---GOODBYE, GOOD LUCK, SEE YOU IN 10 YEARS (THAT IS IF YOU HAVE NOT KILLED SOMEONE), AND I HOPE THE OTHER PARTY IN YOUR DRUNKEN ACTIVITY WILL ENJOY YOUR HOME AND ALL YOUR TOYS.
    Where did you get that idea? If you shoot someone, and it is justifiable self defense, and all the perimeters are okay, why would you go to jail? The right of self defense is a not something which only applies to sober people.

    Also, in that situation, an intoxicated person is not necessarily incapable of knowing he's in a lethal force confrontation.

    This is No Way an endorsement for shooting someone when you've been drinking... or carrying a gun for that matter. But a person does not lose the right to defend himself because he's intoxicated, or to use lethal force.

    If you are out in public with the gun and a shooting goes down, they may try and apply any laws they may have against carrying the gun. But in many jurisdictions that is a misdemeanor.

    I don't know where you got that you'd automatically be doing hard time for 10 years or longer. If the self defense shooting was a justifiable shoot, you are not going to be gigged for that.
    marcclarke likes this.
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  5. #34
    Member Array CowboyKen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    ... If you don't have the mental capacity to carry a gun you should leave it home, whether you have had no alcohol or some alcohol. If you're prone to doing stupid things and having to make excuses for them, regardless of what the excuse is, you might want to reconsider your choice of actions whether it is about a gun, a car or life in general.


    I certainly hope people don't get the idea that I am advocating getting drunk and carrying a gun or driving a car etc. To the contrary. However there are people in this world that don't instantly become stupid after one drink, and there will always be people who are stupid when stone cold sober. We should be able to separate them when talking about issues instead of thinking one size fits all.
    And the corollary to that is if you are prone to doing stupid things when you drink, DON'T drink. IMO it has nothing to do with guns at all.

    Oh, if that isn't you (and it is legal where you are) then feel free to have a cocktail, glass of wine or beer with dinner. Whether you are carrying or not - shouldn't matter. I do.

    Ken

  6. #35
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Hey Bark'n: Good point you make about my comment. Still believe, though, that your proving self defense has just become a lot more difficult if you are shown to be drunk (by some standard) at the time. Any attorney will have a field day on this one, maybe not criminal but sure as heck civil. You are correct in mentioning this point. Bottom line still is if you CC, drinking to a level that is considered impaired is not a good idea, and will affect your SA abilities.

  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelcarry View Post
    Hey Bark'n: Good point you make about my comment. Still believe, though, that your proving self defense has just become a lot more difficult if you are shown to be drunk (by some standard) at the time. Any attorney will have a field day on this one, maybe not criminal but sure as heck civil. You are correct in mentioning this point. Bottom line still is if you CC, drinking to a level that is considered impaired is not a good idea, and will affect your SA abilities.
    No doubt about it that you are definitely entering a legal nightmare... You are correct on all your points. But, the problems are not necessarily insurmountable. A lot of it is going to be dependent on how stark the physical evidence is along with any witnesses which can support the claim of a justifiable shooting.

    Certainly not always an easy thing to have.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  8. #37
    Ex Member Array hamlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by romansten9 View Post
    This question is regarding the implications of being mentally impaired and trying to have the greatest possible situational awareness regarding a self defense mindset. For the context of this discussion, I will define this as: A temporary condition in which a person has reduced mental capacity and diminished response time as a result of intoxication by alcohol and other drugs.

    Since alcohol is so common, and since it is the drug that is implicated in an enormous number of traumatic injuries (planned and un-planned) it will be the major focus of this discussion. This discussion is NOT about whether or not a person should be allowed to carry a weapon inside of an establishment that sells alcohol. We all know that being in a bar does not mean that a person is impaired (designated drivers for example)

    Now to the questions:

    1. Can a person expect to have JUST AS MUCH capacity for situational awareness (SA) and reaction time (RT) while using alcohol as opposed to being sober? (keeping in mind many research studies in which reaction times have diminished due to alcohol intoxication and even mild consumption)

    2. Should a person that wishes to be able to defend them-self be using alcohol at all? Is there ever a good time to be impaired while desiring maximum safety?

    3. Is there ever a safe PLACE in which to become impaired and remain safe (short of hiring a bodyguard to watch out for you) ? To expand this thought, obviously a bar may be a worst case scenario for many, while home may seem relatively safe. (but we know that even home is often not safe)

    4. Are there situations in which one may be called to assist someone else, or to make emergency decisions for another, which may be impossible while impaired? (for example, a parent called to the ER to make decisions for a child involved in an automobile accident)

    5. What is the value of training to increase SA and self defense tactics for those that plan to use alcohol or other drugs? Doesn't mental impairment go against everything that is trying to be accomplished? Isn't the goal to INCREASE mental conditioning rather than DECREASE it?

    Just a few thoughts I have had, hopefully this will generate some good discussion that can be learned from.
    Sounds like you're talking regular use of alcohol and amounts that are beyond one/two in a longish period.

    NO! You're a danger, to yourself, to the public, and you'll hit the skids legally if god forbid you're in some emergency, use a gun and are fried.

    C'mon - if this kind of drinking is outlawed in driving - and you can find out the death/serious injury rate from booze anywhere - what do you think about it for carrying a GUN!?

  9. #38
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    There are people that drink alcohol in order to get stupid drunk.
    There are people that go out to dinner and enjoy having a beer with a good meal. There is a huge chasm of difference between the two.
    In Pennsylvania it is perfectly legal to carry and imbibe alcohol. For sure that is not a free pass to ever get falling down drunk while carrying a firearm.
    Personally I don't ever frequent bars.
    Have I ever enjoyed a beer out with dinner while carrying? Yep, & I'm still here.
    Do I have a beer every time I go out to dinner? No, usually I have a large Iced Tea laced with the powerful stimulant drug called Caffeine.
    Truthfully...I've not had a beer since last summer.
    That is the difference between an alcoholic (addicted to the effects of alcohol) and a person that may (or may not) have a social beer or a glass of wine with a meal.
    In my family we could have wine with dinner when we were little kids if we really wanted to.
    My Grandparents believed that a daily small glass of red wine was very healthy for the body.
    It turns out they were 100% correct about that,,,,,but, as kids we always liked COKE or Pepsi more.
    So there was never any Mystique to alcoholic beverages when us kids were growing up.
    As a result we never had any urge or desire to "binge drink" or get stupidly intoxicated later on in life.
    I should add that in PA we do not have higher rates of negligent discharges, shoot-outs in the streets, or pools of blood all over the sidewalks because PA does not infringe on personal freedom.
    Our adults typically act like responsible adults out in public places.
    Bark'n likes this.
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  10. #39
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by romansten9 View Post

    1. Can a person expect to have JUST AS MUCH capacity for situational awareness (SA) and reaction time (RT) while using alcohol as opposed to being sober? (keeping in mind many research studies in which reaction times have diminished due to alcohol intoxication and even mild consumption)

    2. Should a person that wishes to be able to defend them-self be using alcohol at all? Is there ever a good time to be impaired while desiring maximum safety?

    .

    You can drink alcohol (or at least some people can) and just enter a relaxed state. How 'relaxed' depends on metabolism and amount/alc. % content.

    Is anyone optimally situationally aware when completely relaxed? Do we never get to relax? Who is protecting us in bed? We still have to wake up (uh oh, not a great mental state) and get it together if there's an incident.

    I'd say as in all things, each person has to decide on what's important to them and weigh their particular circumstances/environment.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

  11. #40
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    NOTHING ... anyone does can be done better while under the influence... except for stumbling, falling, and repeating the same thing 10 times within 5 minutes.

    There is a reason I don't drink.
    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
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  12. #41
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Hey Bark'n: Your reply is right on. Another point would be the state and/or city that the incident occurs in and whether the powers that be are pro-victim or pro-perp and where gun control fits into the equation. Here in SC, if it becomes obvious (witnesses etal) that you had no other choice in a clear assault or criminal act and you had to "dispatch" someone, I doubt whether alcohol will be a serious impediment in the case.

  13. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9MMare View Post
    You can drink alcohol (or at least some people can) and just enter a relaxed state. How 'relaxed' depends on metabolism and amount/alc. % content.

    Is anyone optimally situationally aware when completely relaxed? Do we never get to relax? Who is protecting us in bed? We still have to wake up (uh oh, not a great mental state) and get it together if there's an incident.

    I'd say as in all things, each person has to decide on what's important to them and weigh their particular circumstances/environment.
    Their particular environment will include other people - so no, this is not complete freedom of choice. In this country ALL rights of EVERYONE balance. And I don't want someone with impaired judgment, carrying a 357 Magnum with a BA of .02 walking behind me - and I don't care how he self-evaluates. That's the way it is.

  14. #43
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    Their particular environment will include other people - so no, this is not complete freedom of choice. In this country ALL rights of EVERYONE balance. And I don't want someone with impaired judgment, carrying a 357 Magnum with a BA of .02 walking behind me - and I don't care how he self-evaluates. That's the way it is.
    You're way more in danger from that drunk individual on the roads. Or any irresponsible individual on the roads.

    Please see my signature: "Freedom doesnt mean safe, it means free."

    BTW, I was really only addressing the first 2 of your points....and I thought I numbered my replies. (Which didnt include drinking in public) Apologies.
    MadMac likes this.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

  15. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    Their particular environment will include other people - so no, this is not complete freedom of choice. In this country ALL rights of EVERYONE balance. And I don't want someone with impaired judgment, carrying a 357 Magnum with a BA of .02 walking behind me - and I don't care how he self-evaluates. That's the way it is.
    So I go out to dinner with my wife. I have a scotch on the rocks before dinner and a glass of cab with my steak. Walking back to the car in the parking lot after dinner we are accosted by a mugger/robber/rapist. It is your view, apparently, that I should not be equipped to protect my wife in this situation. I disagree!

    I will have my XD9sc with me in my IWB holster and I will use it.

    Ken

  16. #45
    Ex Member Array hamlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9MMare View Post
    You're way more in danger from that drunk individual on the roads. Or any irresponsible individual on the roads.

    Please see my signature: "Freedom doesnt mean safe, it means free."

    BTW, I was really only addressing the first 2 of your points....and I thought I numbered my replies. (Which didnt include drinking in public) Apologies.
    What kind of an argument is that? It's tolerable if inebriated CCWs kill some people because their numbers are less than inebriated car drivers?

    Well, about time to get back to planet earth I think.........Ciao!

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