A Waltham bar last week announced that it will pay for a taxi to bring home its drunken customers.
While we know the move is a result of passage of Melanie’s Bill and all the publicity surrounding it, we wonder, is it a good idea or a bad one?
A ride home for a person too drunk to drive is certainly a good idea. But the ride should not be via taxi but in a police cruiser. And it should not be to his (or her) comfy bed but to a cell followed by charges for public drunkenness.
Society and its drinkers need to get the message that public drunkenness is bad. Babying the drunk and safely carrying his inebriated carcass home teaches him what? It’s certainly not that he shouldn’t drink himself to oblivion. And what happens the next time when he doesn’t happen to be drinking at that particular bar? Will he not get in his car and drive home?
As for the seemingly generous offer of the bar, we would suggest a better monitoring of their clientele.
Bartenders should focus not on calling taxis to thereby remove themselves from liability should an accident occur, but on not serving customers until they are too drunk to drive in the first place.