What else is there to do during a hurricane but play board games and get sorta day-buzzed, right? That’s going to be a lot more difficult in Cape Coral, Florida, following the City Council’s decision to allow officials to suspend the sale of beer during the lead-up or response to a state of emergency. CBS-12 reports the decision expands a law that allows Emergency Management to also ban the sale of liquor during such an emergency.
Mayor Joe Coviello told Cape Coral Daily Breeze that the change to the city’s fire code will help prevent DUIs: “If we have fire trucks running around and police cars helping people, the last thing I want to see is a DUI situation on the road. It boils down to a safety issue.” He then said he hopes residents will have their beer and wine “stocked in their house already” prior to emergencies. (We expect Cape Coral sales of Carlo Rossi jugs to spike in coming weeks.)
While I understand the safety rationale behind wanting to keep drunk drivers off the roads, it doesn’t seem like stocking up on beer prior to a weather event would necessarily cause more DUIs. After all, presumably the city residents will be carting those 30-racks back to their house, not consuming them in public or at bars. Even police chief David Newlan told a council member at the meeting that there had been no increase of DUIs following Hurricane Irma, according to the Daily Breeze.
I have some experience with the crucial role beer plays in waiting out severe weather. A few years back, my family was evacuated from an island in Florida where we were on vacation, as a hurricane was barreling toward the state’s Gulf Coast. We quickly piled supplies (read: food and beer) into the car, anticipating at least a few days’ worth of confinement in some boring mainland hotel as we waited out the storm. Thankfully, the summer Olympics were taking place, and we were able to pass a few days drinking Pacifico and learning about B-list sports like dressage—which would have been a lot more painful sans booze.