As a pipeline worker, you likely give your job your all, and on any given week you can quickly log in over 40 hours of hard labor. As you well know, it’s common to have a few drinks with your coworkers, particularly in towns where there’s little else to do but go to a bar. While there’s nothing wrong with “kicking back” and enjoying some alcoholic beverages over shop talk, be smart.
Getting a drinking and driving violation can change the course of your future, cost you thousands of dollars, and even cost your job. It’s always better to play it safe when heading to the bar or drinking in your downtime.
Always Have a Designated Driver
If you’re lucky, maybe someone in your crew doesn’t like to drink alcohol and is happy to belly up to the bar for a cup of coffee or soda. If not, take turns being a designated driver (DD). It may not be as fun, but you may score an endless and free supply of a non-alcoholic beverage.
Failing to have a DD is a bad idea, even when you’re in a small town. Never assume that the authorities (even if there are just a few) aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing. If anything, they are probably patrolling the streets because it’s a slow night in town.
Know Your Limits
While it’s always smart and healthier to drink in moderation, you should always keep tabs on your personal limits. While one guy may be able to drink a few shots chased with a few beers, you may only tolerate half as much. Don’t try to keep up or feel pressured to “match up.” The hangover and other risks are not worth it in the morning.
Too Much Drink Can Affect Your Work
Your job as a pipeline worker is important, and even if you know it like the back of your proverbial hand, it’s even more important to be focused and alert all day long. Even if you don’t feel hungover or don’t have a throbbing headache, a late night of drinking can affect your work performance. Sure, you got a full night of sleep, but it wasn’t quality sleep.
Being just a little bit “off” can affect all the tasks you do. It can also put your safety, as well as everyone else’s, at risk.
DUIs are Expensive
If you do decide to drive after drinking in your downtime, you are putting yourself at risk for causing an accident or getting a DUI. DUI violations, themselves, may cost you a couple of hundred dollars, but it’s everything else that makes it an expensive mistake. Between lawyer fees, jail fines, increased insurance rates, and any missed days of work, you are looking at thousands of dollars spent on something you could have easily prevented.
Not only are DUIs expensive, but it can affect your ability to perform certain tasks on the job site. If your license is taken away or suspended, you can’t drive, which will leave you to rely on someone else to get you to work. If you are interested in getting a job overseas, it may affect your eligibility as some countries don’t allow people to enter if they’ve had a violation like a DUI.
Enjoy your downtime, but keep your job and your safety your number one priority.
About the Author: Hannah Bessinger is an outreach specialist and writer. She enjoys writing about current events, health topics, and various legal topics. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @hannahbessinger on Twitter.