The Lost Art of Personal and Civic Responsibility

Just when you think society has reached an all-time low, society seems to say, “Hold my beer.”

Just when you think society has reached an all-time low, society seems to say, “Hold my beer.” Or, in the case of the stellar individual I’m about to describe, perhaps it should be, “It’s all your fault for not holding my beer.”

I just read an article entitled, Woman Who Got so Drunk at Concert That She Blew up a Home, Causing $15 Million in Damages, Is Now Suing the Concert Venue. After reading that, I had to struggle to keep from banging my head on the nearest wall. Honestly. The chutzpah of this child. (Well, she’s 26 actually, but she’s certainly acting like a child.)

To summarize, it seems that Daniella Leis, from Ontario, is in a bit of a pickle. She decided to go to a Marilyn Manson concert at the ironically named Budweiser Gardens arena and then she got wasted. Well, she’s a grown-a$$ woman and can do whatever she wants, right? But your right to be an idiot ends the second your choices put other people at risk. (That goes for anti-vaxxers, too.)

On her drive home, she went the wrong way down a residential, one-way street, and crashed into a house, breaking a gas line. Smelling the gas, first responders had to evacuate the entire neighborhood and shut off the gas and water service for same. 15 minutes later, the house exploded, and the resulting fire engulfed and destroyed three other houses as well.

Are you freakin’ kidding me????

The explosion threw burning debris 600 feet. That’s scary. I don’t know about you, but I’ve usually lived within 600 feet of a whole lot of other houses. I have no idea which ones use gas, though, and it would be impossible to know how many stupid, irresponsible drunken idiots are passing by those houses at any given moment. This is why personal and civic responsibility are so necessary.

Due to her own poor choices, Ms. Leis could have been killed, or she could have run over others during her drunken commute, or the people in the neighborhood that found itself unexpectedly ablaze could have been killed. It’s a pure miracle that the incident “only” resulted in seven people being injured.

On the scene, Ms. Leis admitted her guilt, and eventually she wound up being sentenced to three years in prison and three years of having her license to drive suspended. But now, having had ample time to sleep it off, she seems to be having second thoughts about her plea. The whole catastrophe wasn’t her fault after all, she says. At least, not entirely.

She’s is now suing the company that served her alcohol at the concert venue. She says they continued to serve her alcohol even though they knew she was drunk. Eventually, they kicked her out without determining how she would get home. She claims that the vendor should have taken steps to ensure that she didn’t go past the legal limit, and that she wasn’t driving herself home.

For a start, none of the innocent victims, and no one at the concert venue, forced the alcohol down this adult’s throat. She chose to take that first drink. And while she did get increasingly impaired, she continued to make that choice, and as a 26-year-old woman who knows her own proclivities better than anyone else does, her choices were informed ones.

Is it anyone else’s fault that she didn’t know when to stop? Do we honestly believe that this was the first time that she drank to excess? C’mon.

Knowing what path she was about to stumble down, she could have brought a designated driver with her like a mature adult would have done. She could have asked someone to call a taxi. She could have taken the bus, although I can hear all the bus drivers on earth as they collectively groan at the prospect.

At what point did it become socially acceptable to forfeit all personal and civic responsibility for our actions? Ms. Leis is making it sound as if she handed herself off to someone else the moment she took the first sip. Her guardian was supposed to be whomever happened to be in her vicinity. It’s as if she’s the human equivalent of a library book that just got returned to the library. “Here, total stranger, I’m placing myself into your hands. I bequeath thee all liability for any actions I take henceforth.”

If that’s an actual thing, then kindly wear a sign so I know to avoid you. I refuse to take responsibility for the strangers around me, especially if they’re adults. The world is not your babysitter. Grow up.

The lawsuit might hold water if she had been 15 at the time, because I’m sure Canada also has laws that prohibit selling alcohol to minors. But this woman was an adult who chose to make a fool out of herself at a concert, with catastrophic results. She needs to suck it up and suffer the consequences of what she has done.

I’ll give her this much: she most likely did not intend to cause 15 million dollars in damage when she went to the concert that night, but that’s where she finds herself now, mired in a mountain of civil suits that she brought upon herself. I hope the judge laughs this counter-suit right out of court. Ms. Leis should be ashamed of herself for even making the attempt. It only reinforces the fact that she has pathetic judgment.

In case you haven’t guessed, I hate alcohol. Here’s why.


Author: The View from a Drawbridge

I have been a bridgetender since 2001, and gives me plenty of time to think and observe the world.

4 thoughts on “The Lost Art of Personal and Civic Responsibility”

  1. I read today’s blog and followed the links to read your other two on the subject of alcohol/alcoholism. I couldn’t find anywhere where you state that booze of any sort or volume or strength is poison. Literally poison. Congratulations on your 30 years of abstinence from imbibing poison. It’s not easy an easy feat to see alcohol as poison in a free-enterprise capitalist economy where advertisers are free to push their poison without restraint or penalty nor having to label it poison. I do believe the venues that profit from taking advantage of the system and people’s insanity, too, need to be held accountable. Somebody needs to get the poison pushers’ attention. I say “bring on the lawsuits.”

  2. Since drinking alcohol impairs your ability to reason and so many variables effect what point cognition becomes impaired, then you should never drink unless you have prepared for all safety measures in advance. This is what drink responsibly actually means. Spontaneous, casual drinking is always going to be risky. Perhaps we should treat alcohol like the addictive mind altering drug it is and require medical supervision for safe healthy outcomes for all of us. How many innocent people have been harmed and killed by those who choose to drink irresponsibly? Why are these risks acceptable trade offs for the freedom to drink, but we don’t accept those same trade offs with narcotics, opioids etc.? Is it because alcohol damage is usually slow and cumulative and we’ve learned to minimize and justify the times it does immediate, fatal destruction? I think it’s a bigger problem than us expecting people to use better judgment and accepting responsibility for damages caused when they don’t. I think society needs to rethink the way we look at alcohol consumption as a whole. We can start by accepting that a drunk person is not funny and entertaining. They’re compromised and a potential danger to themselves and/or others. There are safer ways to unwind, celebrate, socialize, deal with stress and escape reality. Society needs to promote healthier alternatives year round, not just during dry January.

    1. It is encouraging that comedians don’t seem to take on the brand of being a drunkard anymore, like Red Skelton, Dean Martin, and countless others did. People see it as pathetic now, rather than humorous. But yes, we have a lot of work to do, but the liquor lobby is full of money, and I don’t expect much change.

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