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Ryan LCSW, Mental Health
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  Individual and Family Therapist
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I have always been a social drinker usually averaging 3 drinks

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I have always been a social drinker usually averaging 3 drinks in a sitting but sometimes having more on weekends. I enjoy drinking craft beer and bourbons, and I have a fun time enjoying drinks with friends. Sometimes I drink at home with my wife or while playing video games. I never drink enough to pass out, I always retain my memories, I can always maintain a conversation, and drinking has never impacted my work or fitness routine (I'm training for a marathon).

A couple weeks ago, I drove home when I shouldn't have. I had five drinks in two hours. I was not falling down drunk, but I was tipsy, and my wife could tell because my speech was slow. We calculated my BAC to be about 0.07, legal in Kentucky, but still impaired. She was very angry. It was a wake-up call to me that I must be much more careful about drinking and driving. For my wife, she worried that I might have a serious alcohol problem. For reference, she doesn't ever drink more than one.

My solution to the problem is that in the future I will ask sober friends and the bartender if I should call a cab, and if there is any doubt in my driving ability, I will call a cab. For her, she wants me to limit my consumption to 2 per day no matter what. For me, this seems overbearing. So long as I adjust my behavior stay safe, I shouldn't need pre-set boundaries on my drinking.

So the question is, do I have a problem? Is my solution effective, or do I need to have a system in place to put boundaries on my behavior?
Thanks for your question.

Your solution seems like it is practical and will be effective so long as you are able to maintain it. It does sound like the driving situation was a wake-up call, and it is good that you were able to recognize this and discuss some appropriate action with your wife so that you don't put yourself in risky situations in the future. While I understand your wife's stance that you limit your drinking permanently in order to avoid this problem, that may be an excessive reaction if this is the first and last time you will make a mistake like this.

Even if your level of drinking hasn't caused any problems in your life, there are certainly health risks involved that you may avoid by cutting down your amount of consumption. However if the question is whether or not you have developed an appropriate plan of action for situations where you are drinking, it does seem that as long as you are honest with yourself and are able to stick to the plan, that this would successfully avoid the problem of you being behind the wheel. If feel that you may not be able to keep to your plan, then it would certainly be important to discuss more appropriate boundaries or a more rigid plan.

I certainly wish you the best with all of this and hope that I've been able to answer your question. If there's anything else I can do to help please let me know.

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