Can I Drink Alcohol on the Beach? The answer is NO, Bea(t)ches.
I'm in Waikiki right now. I'm not humble bragging, but I would like everyone to acknowledge how cool I am at this very moment. It's raining. But, who gives an eff? I'm in Hawaii, beatches. Every woman I know imagines a Mai Tai in her beach selfie, but the beach actually belongs to the non-drinkers. The “no alcohol beyond this point sign” proves it. But, why can’t you have alcohol on the beach?
HERE'S WHAT I THOUGHT IN MY DRINKING DAYS...
I thought that sign was used to prevent people bringing glass onto the beach. I assumed that putting my drink into a plastic or stainless steel container would be compliant with the law. I remember thinking, no policeman would haul me off for drinking Vodka OJ out of a Yeti cup on the beach. They will. And, they do.
What the sign really means...DON'T BRING ALCOHOL ONTO THE BEACH, BEACHES.
It isn't to keep people from littering or breaking bottles. The sign is meant to keep the beaches alcohol-free and prevent more than a third of the drowning deaths each year. Why do people drown while drinking alcohol? For a boat-load of reasons...
1. ALCOHOL GIVES YOU A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY WHILE SWIMMING.
You might not be the Olympic swimmer that vodka made you think you were.
2. PEOPLE TAKE HIGHER RISKS WHEN DRINKING.
Diving into shallow water isn't brilliant thinking on your drunk feet.
3. YOUR SENSE OF DIRECTION AND ABILITY TO CALCULATE DISTANCE IS IMPAIRED WHILE CONSUMING ALCOHOL.
Where's the land now, buddy? Can't find it. Yeah. That's bad.
4. ALCOHOL IS A DEPRESSANT AND SLOWS YOUR REACTION TIME.
Can we all scream "shark" together now and see who's left in the water? The drinkers. Just kidding. But, also, I'm not kidding.
5. ALCOHOL CAUSES YOUR BODY TEMPERATURE TO DROP.
You're more likely to get hypothermia. Brrrrr.
6. ALCOHOL COULD CAUSE YOUR WINDPIPE TO LOCK SHUT WHILE SWIMMING.
Alcohol is known to cause spasms of the vocal chords. When water hits your windpipes, you have a reflex that closes your windpipe. Your reflex could snap your windpipe shut with water while a spasm keeps it closed. Sounds like a bad day at the beach.
And, in the case that someone notices you are drowning and pulls you ashore before you get eaten by a shark...
7. ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION REDUCES THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CPR.
Cocktail. Prevented. Rescitation.
I didn't quit drinking to avoid drowning in Hawaii, per se. I quit drinking because I was drinking and sinking figuratively in life. Life might be a BEACH on some days, but it is worth riding the waves alcohol-free. Cowabunga, y'all.