I’m now convinced that everyone on the road past midnight is blazing drunk.

Police shut down a loop of the Capital Beltway early Sunday after a fatal accident, which was caused by excessive speed (no word on alcohol). When the freeway reopened, the Post reports,
several drivers were found passed out drunk in their cars. They were arrested and charged with drunken driving (sleeping?).

I have strict rules for myself against driving drunk, especially because operating a scooter requires more balance than driving a car. I bet the temptation would be stronger if I had a four-wheeled vehicle and I can’t promise I’d be able to resist after a mild night out, in the cold, reminding myself that I live just a mile away. I’m no tee-totaler, but someone has to get these drunks off the road. My vote is for public transportation but I’m not sure how that will help the folks who live and die by their cars. Breathalyzers wired to the ignition? My libertarian friends might disagree.

Speaking of drinking, I came across this stat in the current issue of the New Yorker: back in the late 18th century, Americans drank an average of 8 gallons of alcohol a year. After the religious revival of the Second Great Awakening, consumption dropped to 2 gallons a year, which is where it is now. That’s about 171 1.5 ounce shots of booze—not even one a day. It’s like having 42 days a year where you drink four shots. I’m a bit embarrassed to say the number doesn’t sound high. (Of course, it doesn’t include beer and wine.) I think I know a few of the folks responsible for weighing down the mean.