It used to be traditional for workers, especially those in manufacturing jobs, to leave work and head directly for the bar, especially on payday. For many, it was a way to unwind with co-workers after a difficult day, before heading home to families and dinner.
The economic downturn, and its accompanying recession, has affected many areas of Americans' lives. One result of the recession has been a decline in such drinking after work. The recession has cost many manufacturing workers their jobs, reducing the number of Americans with disposable income available for drinking. Even those workers who were able to retain their jobs are more hesitant to spend money on things like alcohol.
New Report on Drinking Habits
According to the Beer Institute, a Washington-based trade group, beer drinkers last year in the United States drank 203.4 million barrels, which represents a five percent decline from 2008. While traditionally it was believed that people drowned their sorrows, most beer drinkers are responsible people and when they had to scale back their budgets, they tended to cut out their pleasures, including alcohol.
Drinking, and specifically drinking after work, may have declined for other reasons as well. Many states are passing stiffer drunk driving laws. Drinking after work creates a difficult situation since there is often little choice but to drive home from the bar, which leads to an increased risk of an arrest for a NH DWI which carries stiff penalties like jail time, fines and loss of driving privileges, which workers may not be willing to face.
In addition, many people are choosing to drink in their homes, rather than in bars and taverns. Some choose to drink at home because it eliminates the risk of a DUI arrest. In addition, state laws prohibiting smoking in drinking establishments has also caused many smokers to pick up beer from the store, so that they can drink at home with a cigarette, rather than running outside to smoke at the bar.
In some cases, people are just not drinking, or at least not drinking as much as in the past. It seems like every day there are new health reports about the dangers of drinking, or on alcohol's effect on weight. Many Americans are significantly cutting back on their alcohol intake, or giving it up completely, in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle.
Finally, there are social pressures that affect drinking after work. Over the past few decades, it has become much less socially acceptable for workers to go to the bar for a few drinks rather than to go home to their families. Some view the after work trip to the bar as workers trying to escape their family life, rather than a chance to unwind before entering the often chaotic atmosphere of the family home.
For those drinking in New Hampshire, whether you are choosing to drink in a bar or at home after work, it is important to make responsible choices. When drinking at a bar after work, it is still a good idea to have a designated driver, take a taxi home, or ask a sober friend for a ride if you have had too much to drink. As you probably already know,the laws are very strict for alcohol-related crimes and a NH DUI can have severe consequences on many aspects of your life.