I would like to officially welcome you to our annual Bars & Clubs Issue. It’s a tradition: Around St. Patrick’s Day, the RN&R staff and its free-lancing minions hit the streets of Reno and Sparks in an effort to get the skinny on the bars-and-clubs scene.
In many ways, it’s a fun issue. It’s fun to get out and see new places. It’s fun to go to these new places and meet new people. It’s fun to meet these new people and, in some cases, share an alcoholic beverage or two with them.
This leads me to the disclaimer that I would like to attach to this issue: In no way are we trying to glorify drinking or alcohol abuse. We are merely trying to produce a list of as many bars and clubs that:
1. We can send our staff and contributors to without causing sleep deprivation, and
2. We can fit in the newspaper without causing undue stress on the backs of our delivery drivers.
Seriously, we know that alcohol abuse is a major problem everywhere, and an especially bad problem in Reno, where 24-hour bars, supermarkets and casinos combine with a transient population and a large number of low-paying jobs. It’s a dangerous mix.
We probably all know a person or two, perhaps more, who have had alcohol mess up their lives. I’ve seen friends and family members develop work problems, relationship problems, arrest records, even become injured, because they could not control their drinking. The problem is especially bad among the 21-34 age group, which makes up a large portion of the bar clientele we ran into doing this issue. According to the National Commission Against Drunk Driving (www.ncadd.org), over half of all drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes are in this age range.
I just wanted to make it perfectly clear that we realize that alcohol abuse, drunk driving and other alcohol-related problems were on our minds as we assembled this issue. As we researched it, we made sure that our drinking (when we chose to imbibe alcoholic beverages) was done safely and that designated drivers were always present.
We ask that you, as you visit these bars and clubs, do the same.
Drunk driving has been a hot topic in Nevada lately, thanks to the introduction of AB166, which would lower the illegal blood alcohol level from .10 to .08. Similar legislation has failed in the last couple of sessions, for reasons that I can describe only as moronic.
The argument given by opponents: The bill unfairly targets “recreational drinkers.” What the hell does that mean? Forgive me, but if someone’s buzzed and tooling down the road with a .09 blood alcohol level, I don’t care whether he or she is a “recreational drinker” or a full-fledged lush. This person should not be on the roads.
The smart bet is that AB166 will pass this time, in large part because the federal government is threatening to withhold funds from states that don’t enact the lower blood alcohol limit. It’s kind of embarrassing that it took threats from the feds before such a bill had a chance of passing the Nevada Legislature.
I realize that in some circles, Nevada is known as a “live and let live” state. I agree with that concept 100 percent, as long as living and letting live doesn’t hurt others. And that is certainly not the case when it comes to driving under the influence.
Watch how the various legislators vote on AB166. And if you live in the district of an assemblyperson or senator who votes against it, return the favor and vote against him or her in the next election.