Gregor's Experiment: the results

Jason Gregor
September 02 2010 03:22PM

Walking into the studio at 2:55pm yesterday, I was more nervous prior to a show than I have been in at least five years. For many it seemed like a great opportunity — to get drunk at work. But I was so stressed that I would come off sounding like an imbecile my gut was actually churning when I turned on the mic.

TEAM 1260 Brand Director Ross Macleod came up with the idea to find out how quickly Meg Morrison and I could get legally drunk, and possibly how much it would take to blow 0.164. We took our first shot of Jagermeister at 3:05, and we would have one at 3:35 and 4:05 and so on for the next three hours, while also consuming two highballs each hour. Also the Jager and Bacardi Limon that we drank was only 35% alcohol. A normal highball is 40%.

That first Jager didn’t go down very smooth. When a shot is your first drink, it never tastes good. Ten minutes later, and it might have been my nerves, but I felt a bit off. It was clear that I had had a shot and was sipping on a drink.

Our findings are not to be used as a guideline by any stretch, but the following are the breathalyzer readings from the show.

*** I should point out that most experts claim you become impaired at 0.04, but currently you aren’t legally impaired until 0.08. And most consider 1 ½ highballs to be equivalent to one beer.***

Time & drink total Meg Jason
3:45pm | 2 shots, 1 highball 0.026 0.012
4:15pm | 3 shots, 2 highballs 0.046 0.030
4:45pm | 4 shots, 3 highballs 0.087 0.055
5:15pm | 5 shots, 5 highballs 0.143 0.092
5:45pm | 6 shots, 6 highballs (only 5 for Meg) 0.158 0.113
5:55pm | 7 shots, 7 highballs (only 5 for Meg) 0.186 0.142

***Meg only had five highballs and six shots total. She felt at 5:15 she was done. She did one final shot at 5:35. What is interesting is that she went from 0.143 to 0.182 with only one shot. So I would guess it took some time for all the alcohol to get through her system.***

What is most interesting was how quickly the numbers jumped up. I would caution those who think it would take five shots and four highballs to blow over. Because the jump from 0.055 to 0.092 came with only one shot and one highball, to me it is clear that once the alcohol gets through your system, your blood alcohol level can increase quickly. After doing this experiment I will have a hard time believing anyone who tells me they only had one or two drinks, but blew over 0.08.

After the show, Blue Sky Limos took us to On the Rocks for nachos and wings. I had two drinks in the two hours that we were there, and I blew again at 8:30 and I was still well over at 0.112. I blew again before bed, at 10:30 and I was still over at 0.862. Clearly it takes a long time for the booze to get out of one's system.

There are many variables that go into how much one person can consume before they become legally impaired, such as height, weight, how much you had to eat that day, how quickly your body can metabolize alcohol, so please don’t use the above numbers as a guideline. Remember if the 1 ½ highball to beer ratio is accurate then six shots and four beers and I would have blown 0.113.

When Meg blew 0.046 she seemed hammered.

“There is no way I could have driven at that point, and that was only an hour in for me. It actually was a bit scary how quickly I felt it.”

I’ve never been drinking in a non-drinking atmosphere. Being on-air and with a stone-sober Robin Brownlee co-hosting with me, I realized just how quickly booze affects me. When you are out in a social setting or having beers with some buddies, I don’t think we realize how quickly it hits us.

The final 30 minutes of the show were a bit of a struggle for me. I really didn’t want to sound drunk. I could hear myself and I was certain I sounded inebriated. I know that was the point, but it was very stressful wondering if I would say or do something regrettable. Thankfully I got through it unscathed and I was relieved by the feedback from listeners.

I decided to donate $164 to MAAD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and I’m glad to say a few listeners did the same.

Drinking and driving is a sensitive topic, and I wanted to ensure that we brought awareness while maintaining some level of professionalism while drinking on air. I’m not sure we were completely professional, but it was an eye-opening experience for Meg and me.

I think back to when I was younger and how often I might have been over the 0.04 threshold after playing men’s hockey or going to an Oiler game. Luckily I don’t risk it anymore, and hopefully this might make all of us think twice before driving after having a few drinks.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Chickenplucker
September 02 2010, 03:35PM
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"I blew again before bed, at 10:30 and I was still over at 0.862"

I really want to know what you did after On the Rocks.

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#2 Bacon Nachos
September 02 2010, 03:35PM
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0.862

You sir, are a hero.

But otherwise, great donation, great article.

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#3 Cheesenaka
September 02 2010, 03:35PM
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Great work Gregor. Good article. My simple rule of thumb is to never drive even if I am having 1 drink. Of course i'm 5'4" and 130 pounds and alcohol hits me very quickly.

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#4 baggedmilk
September 02 2010, 03:37PM
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Gregor you sounded WASTED towards the end. Rambling on and on...

"Whether you're playing your men's league game, at a AJHL game, Oilers game, Oil Kings game, Rush game..." blah blah blah

Nice one for getting a free limo ride too. Only problem with the show was, there's nothing worse than listening to a dude that's wasted when you're completely sober. At least I could change the station, Brownlee was stuck with you. hahaha

Now if only you can do an experiment on how lap dances affect concentration, you'll have it made.

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#5 David S
September 02 2010, 03:38PM
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I thought you all did a great job. In fact, even though it was obvious you were working hard not to sound like a total lush, I was amazed how coherent you sounded at 5:45. Well done all of you.

Curious. Did you guys try to blow one more time first thing this morning?

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#6 Racki
September 02 2010, 03:42PM
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I listen pretty regularly when it's hockey season (notable Oil-season). But during the off-season, I generally just listen to my music when on the drive. But I had to tune in yesterday. It was a great show.. not out of humor or anything, but a really great learning experience.

I was actually pretty interested to know a couple of things:

a) could Khabi possibly have gotten that drunk without quite realizing it as it (i.e. it crept up)... uhh.. no.

b) could he possibly have functioned at that level of drunkenness.. and again, an obvious no.

While it didn't take long to get to the over the limit levels, I can't say that I would ever fathom doing 14 drinks (half shots , half highballs) in a 2 hour span and consider driving. And even at that, you still weren't at Khabi's level.

It's absolutely disgusting that he drove that drunk.

Thanks for performing this experiment. ~I can't imagine how horrible it would have been you to get bombed with a hot chick during a work shift... ~

Oh and I agree with David.. I couldn't really hear the "drunk" in your speech much.. well done. There were a few times where you cut words short and such and you can hear that you were putting effort in.. but you could fool some people into thinking you were sober.

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#7 BUCK75
September 02 2010, 03:47PM
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I was interested in the show. Normally I don't listen to all 3 hours, but yesterday I did.

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#8 Librarian Mike
September 02 2010, 03:47PM
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Personally, I think the driving threshold should be 0. Forget about being .06 or .04; if you are driving then don't drink. Period.

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#9 Scoot the Boot
September 02 2010, 03:55PM
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Atta-boy Gregor! It's going to be really important to educate the populous when The Wall steps back between the pipes so I'm a big fan of the step you took! I'm sure there will no doubt be some "boooze" (yeah, I went there)heard from the fans because it is SOOOOO easy to pass judgement. The flip side of this embarassing coin is that this is an opportune moment for everyone to learn a lesson. We probably all know some meat-balls who hammer back 2 wobbly-pops/period on average and drive home. When you think about the consequences of THOSE actions compared to taking a bus from a friendly neighborhood drinking establishment to and from the game for 5 bucks...how is there even a decision to make?

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#10 David Staples
September 02 2010, 03:56PM
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So, essentially, Jason, you took 14 drinks and you never got 0.164.

Interesting stuff. I can see why would be nervous with such an assignment.

From what I've read about it, sounds like you did a good job here and a public service.

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#12 Dodd
September 02 2010, 04:03PM
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I live in Calgary and listen online once in a while, but I didn't get the chance yesterday. Reading about it after (and comments here prior to the show) I'm glad it was done in a "negative" light; not fratboy - style but cautionary.

Interesting experiment. Thought prevoking because you did it with the right intentions. I'm inclined to think that anyone who thought the show was in poor taste realized that there was no humorous intent. Glad you drove that home in the article above.

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#13 David S
September 02 2010, 04:06PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

David,

I did do a breathalyzer this morning at 9 am, and I was .021.Keep in mind I only had two drinks between 6 p.m and 9 a.m. I also had ten hours of sleep, and lots of water.

.021 the morning after? HOLY CRAP!

That's as much of a story as what you guys did yesterday.

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#14 PaperDesigner
September 02 2010, 04:07PM
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As someone who hasn't been drunk in his adult/teenage life (there was an incident or two as a toddler during which I got into my dad's cologne), I have always been extremely cautious with liquor, though at 6'2 and 220 pounds, perhaps overly cautious. My personal record is four drinks in one evening, and I felt somewhat affected, but not so badly that I wasn't able to play a videogame dependent on co-ordination and speed with some effectiveness. I'm a little surprised that it took as many drinks as it did to get you into drunken territory. Which only leads me to ask... how do people afford to get drunk every weekend? Do people really flush the money it takes to buy eight or more drinks just to get hammered?

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#15 whatthe?
September 02 2010, 04:14PM
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@PaperDesigner

The answer is definitely yes, and once you've had a few it's more difficult to keep track of how much you've spent.

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#16 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
September 02 2010, 04:18PM
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@PaperDesigner

Dude, you should go to the rippers. They charge like 8$ a drink . Only place that gouges you worse is Rexall.

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#17 The Other John
September 02 2010, 04:28PM
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I thought show was great.

Could not believe how quickly it took for Meg to get inebriated. Think it brings into focus how drunk NK was on the day in Q and worse is that he is driving at a wildly excessive rate.

From the Team 1260 test what would be really interesting would have been to test NK 60 minutes after the first test, ie was his blood alcohol going up or down at the time of the test

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#18 David S
September 02 2010, 04:56PM
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The Other John wrote:

I thought show was great.

Could not believe how quickly it took for Meg to get inebriated. Think it brings into focus how drunk NK was on the day in Q and worse is that he is driving at a wildly excessive rate.

From the Team 1260 test what would be really interesting would have been to test NK 60 minutes after the first test, ie was his blood alcohol going up or down at the time of the test

My guess is Meg doesn't drink nearly as much, nor as often as Nik. IF that were true, it would be hard to use Meg as a measuring stick. Casual drinkers will get whacked a whole lot faster than a "seasoned vet". Trust me, I know guys who can pack the liquor and 10 drinks barely gets them going.

On a side note, did Meg show up for her shift today (I'm still at work)? She must have been mad hung over.

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#19 @NateInVegas
September 02 2010, 06:06PM
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I have blown .14 and it was no mistake.

It was wreckless and I deserved more than a 24 hour.

What saved me was honesty with the officer. To blow .164 khabibulin is either an alcoholic or a binge drinker at the least.

The show was an excellent reminder for me to stay home and off the road.

Cheers!!!

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#20 third string plumber
September 02 2010, 06:06PM
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The company that I work for has pre employment drug and alcohol testing with 0.02 as the threshold * Not much of a test if a guy knows in advance *

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#23 Archaeologuy
September 02 2010, 06:36PM
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This is only mildly related to drinking to excess*, but somehow Niemi won a Stanley Cup and got paid less than Carey Price who wouldnt even be the starter if Halak wasnt traded**.

*You have to be drunk for this to make a lot of sense

**You had to be Meg Morrison drunk for that Halak trade to make any sense

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#24 Corsby31
September 02 2010, 06:41PM
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Did you take a ride on the porcelain express when you got home?? My guess is hell yes you did..lol..As silly of an idea as it was, I think you may have done some good with this little experiment, I believe some people will think twice before driving..Good work guys...Hey Meg, you drinking tomorrow night??

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#25 Shapeman
September 02 2010, 06:58PM
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I gotta say I heard the clip of you guys on the morning show because I had the misfortune of missing your show, and Gregor, besides your grammar you honestly sounded fine to me on that clip considering you could easily tell Meg was intoxicated.

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#26 Lester Mittendorf
September 02 2010, 07:19PM
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Yeah, but how much weed you smoke?

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#27 Chris.
September 02 2010, 07:45PM
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I would like to go drinking with Meg Morrison.

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#28 Librarian Mike
September 02 2010, 08:21PM
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I want to see Amber vs. Bingofuel...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HULzfoC0FQ

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#29 Starving Student
September 02 2010, 08:30PM
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Why did no one in studio take pictures of this experiment in progress?

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#30 Road Warrior
September 02 2010, 08:40PM
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While it was dumb of Khabi to drive after drinking, the reason he did not appear to be very drunk has much to do with where he comes from. Remember that drinking vodka is almost normal coming from Russia. It is almost a rite of passage over there. Russia has an epidemic of drunkeness as we read in the papers. He has learned how to drink lots over there. It is no excuse for what he did and he will have to pay the price whatever it is.

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#31 @NateInVegas
September 02 2010, 08:42PM
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Did Gregor or Meg break the seal is a good question....

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#32 Librarian Mike
September 02 2010, 08:55PM
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Road Warrior wrote:

While it was dumb of Khabi to drive after drinking, the reason he did not appear to be very drunk has much to do with where he comes from. Remember that drinking vodka is almost normal coming from Russia. It is almost a rite of passage over there. Russia has an epidemic of drunkeness as we read in the papers. He has learned how to drink lots over there. It is no excuse for what he did and he will have to pay the price whatever it is.

He wasn't in Russia. When in Rome...

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#33 Harlie
September 02 2010, 09:00PM
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Great job Meg and Gregor! I think you guys and the station should be commended for raising awareness about drinking and driving and the effects of alcohol on the body.

Just one question...were you guys hurtin today?

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#34 Maverick
September 02 2010, 09:14PM
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Gregor, great experiment yesterday, you handled yourself like a professional throughout the show. We could tell you were struggling at the end but you kept it together. Well done sir. You and Meg did a good thing with your show, I can say it has opened alot of eyes and ears. *PROPS*

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#35 Team Hall
September 02 2010, 10:21PM
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Now, the brand director came up with this half-cocked idea? I'm not so sure. Because if anything, that show only hurt the brand. Big time. Did anyone stop to think about the obvious conclusion that the product quality would go down as more alcohol was consumed on air? Drinking on air? Is that ever a good idea, no matter how you frame it? The female on the show got sloshed. It was a joke. Children listen to that show. Not even the ape-men at the bear have tried this trick. I am a huge fan of JG, by the way, and am in no way slagging him. But that brand director deserves a kick in the rear for that idea. Fortunately, JG holds his liquor like no one I've ever seen and managed to still pull off a show of higher calibre than anything Tencer has ever done. I tip my cap to you, good sir, for that ability. Hey, brand director, I hear Paris Hilton does coke, maybe JG should try that on air????

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#36 Victoria
September 02 2010, 11:14PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

This is only mildly related to drinking to excess*, but somehow Niemi won a Stanley Cup and got paid less than Carey Price who wouldnt even be the starter if Halak wasnt traded**.

*You have to be drunk for this to make a lot of sense

**You had to be Meg Morrison drunk for that Halak trade to make any sense

http://7a.img.v4.skyrock.net/7af/price-habs31/pics/2231975265_1.jpg

You've got a good point, there.

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#37 RossCreekNation
September 02 2010, 11:24PM
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@Team Hall

It was a joke... Not even the ape-men at the bear have tried this trick.

You're a joke... CISN did it a couple years ago.

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#38 BigE91
September 02 2010, 11:35PM
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Good on Jason and Meg for bringing awareness to a very worthwhile cause. It's not really surpising that he still blew .021 this morning as I was one told that it takes basically one hour for a persons body to process each drink, so 14 drinks/14 hours until you are clear.

Khabibulin made a huge mistake and he's going to pay for it. 30 days in jail and a small fine is pretty small price to pay when it could have turned out much worse. Hopefully he learned his lesson.

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#39 N Squared
September 03 2010, 06:47AM
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Good job Jason, This should be a real eye opener for everyone. Plan and simple if you plan on drinking, no matter how much, DON'T DRIVE!

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#40 madjam
September 03 2010, 09:08AM
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Some people can't even drink one drink without it affecting them , especially on an empty stomach . Some it's like water to them , and they function better than when their sober . Onus on each individual to know well before limits are reached to know when to stop . If your drinking to get drunk then make sure someone else is their to drive you around that is fully sober .

Question ? Do you think best for society to raise limit of drinking age gradually to age 25 ? When i grew up it was 21 but in retrospect it might have been better set at 25 . Abolishing it did not work , but i feel raising the age would give our youth more time to develop life skills ,styles and careers without alcohol - thus have pressures and negatives affects of alcohol abuse to maybe affect them ? If you don't need alcohol at these tender ages of growing up (maturing ), then chances are pretty good you would not abuse it later on in your career(s) and lifestyles .

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#41 Chris.
September 03 2010, 09:35AM
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madjam wrote:

Some people can't even drink one drink without it affecting them , especially on an empty stomach . Some it's like water to them , and they function better than when their sober . Onus on each individual to know well before limits are reached to know when to stop . If your drinking to get drunk then make sure someone else is their to drive you around that is fully sober .

Question ? Do you think best for society to raise limit of drinking age gradually to age 25 ? When i grew up it was 21 but in retrospect it might have been better set at 25 . Abolishing it did not work , but i feel raising the age would give our youth more time to develop life skills ,styles and careers without alcohol - thus have pressures and negatives affects of alcohol abuse to maybe affect them ? If you don't need alcohol at these tender ages of growing up (maturing ), then chances are pretty good you would not abuse it later on in your career(s) and lifestyles .

Raising the legal drinking age, and the price of alcohol; only serves to reinforce pots growing status as the party drug of choice among the youth.

There is a consequence to that also.

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#42 Archaeologuy
September 03 2010, 09:44AM
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@Chris.

Plus, kids will drink no matter what the legal age is. The drinking age could be 40, 16 year olds will still find their parents liquor cabinet. Legal drinking age is 25, fine, are you telling me that some kid in college cant find a 25 year old to buy the booze?

Nope. Raising the Legal age wont do anything, it doesnt do anything already.

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#43 Chris.
September 03 2010, 10:13AM
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@ Arch:

I have a neice who tells me that she, and all of her friends don't drink but smoke pot instead because: a) pot is easier to get. b) easier to conceal from her parents. c) Waaay cheaper.

She tells me she can stay wasted on a three day camping trip for less than $30.

I don't want to be dragged into a big mariguana debate... but when I was in high school beer was cheaper and certainly more readily available than pot.

Every year I go on an annual camping trip with some classmates/friends from my first high school restaurant job. Some of us are just drinkers. Some Of the group smoke pot. As the years pass the drinkers in our group arrive in newer, bigger RV's, trucks, etc. The pot smokers tended to arrive in the same old vehicles they had in high school and pitch tents. The drinkers bought homes and started families. The pot smokers tended to rent basement suites... Some of them never married, some are living common law. After twenty years I see the pot smokers less and less... (always welcome; these old freinds have simply stopped attending these annual camping trips or other related group events like weddings, funerals, etc.)

I know my experience is not univerasal. I know there are some solid citizens who work hard, pay their mortgage, and occasionally use drugs... (In and around their trips to visit their contact from the world of organized crime that is).

I think it's dangerous that it is now in style to simultaneously preach the evils of drinking while promoting the virtues of marijuana... Both practices can have very negative consequences... though in my personal experience, one more than the other.

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#45 Chris.
September 03 2010, 10:33AM
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@Jason Gregor

I bet that was the toughest show you've ever had to do. Props on a job well done.

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#46 Harlie
September 03 2010, 10:40AM
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When I first heard about Kabby's DUI I thought that his alcohol reading sounded high but I was thinking maybe 5-6 drinks he may have had.

After the Gregor and Meg experiment I am thinking that he may have drank double or more than that amount. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for him being on the road behind the wheel after that much alcohol. Disappointing..

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#47 ubermiguel
September 03 2010, 11:56AM
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Harlie wrote:

When I first heard about Kabby's DUI I thought that his alcohol reading sounded high but I was thinking maybe 5-6 drinks he may have had.

After the Gregor and Meg experiment I am thinking that he may have drank double or more than that amount. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for him being on the road behind the wheel after that much alcohol. Disappointing..

Agreed.

Add the fact that Khabi acted relatively normal after he got pulled over, it's plausible he has a real drinking problem. I say that not to engage in mud-slinging-gossip-mongering but out of genuine concern.

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#48 michael
September 05 2010, 01:28PM
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Gregor and Meg did a fine job of highlighting this issue. The Team 1260 is involved in events on an ongoing basis that promote public awareness and charity. The yearly fund raising for The Stollery, golf tournaments for a host of charitable organizations.The list goes on and on. As a member of our community The Team 1260 to me has always shown leadership, willingness, and alturism. Gregor and Meg took on a very serious issue which affects alot of lives. Alcohol is not the problem. Its people's perception regarding its usage that is the problem. Drinking to excess and getting drunk is not an issue for me. I allow that people wish to enjoy themselves with a few pops once in a while. My issue is with those who abuse alcohol. My opinion is that the legal age should remain as is. Age is not the issue. People make dumb descisions wether they are 18 or 37. As in NK's case. If I were king of the world I would lower the impaired level to .04. Fund operation Red Nose year round with a tax on all liqour sales. Use funds from said tax to help victims of alcohol abuse. Increase public awareness through ad campaigns. Work hand in hand with the bar owners to find out what can be done on thier end to decrease the problems on thier end. I don't drink. My wife dosen't drink. Yet we respect the right that someelse has to have a few pops. I believe that what Gregor and Meg did was a very good thing. It takes courage to take an on an issue like alcohol.

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