Here’s One Place Where Drunk Walking Is Discouraged

From a South African reader named Tom Boyles:

I have attached a photo you might find interesting regarding the dangers of drinking and walking. It comes as no surprise to a doctor that walking near roads when you are drunk very dangerous — I have certainly seen a large number of such incidents. It is also not a surprise to whoever it is that puts health warnings on local beer in deep rural South Africa. The carton is for Mqumboti, a traditional brew made with maize (it tastes dreadful by the way). The deep rural Transkei may be behind the rest of the world in many ways but they may have become wise to the dangers of drinking and walking before some more developed parts of the world. (The low car ownership, high levels of alcohol abuse, and total lack of any street lighting might have something to do with this.)

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Wishing everyone in the States a happy and safe Independence Day weekend. And remember: friends don’t let friends walk drunk.

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  1. Don't smash this bottle on your head to open it. says:

    Don’t walk on the road, you may be killed.

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  2. Gavin says:

    South Africa is right up there with road deaths per year – and pedestrians make up a large numer of the casualties. Anyone who lives in a rural area, and drives, will tell you horror stories of a figure staggering out in front of you while driving late at night, especially weekends.

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  3. BSK says:

    “The deep rural Transkei may be behind the rest of the world in many ways but they may have become wise to the dangers of drinking and walking before some more developed parts of the world.”

    The mindset demonstrated in that post is all I need to know to dismiss this guy out of hand.

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  4. levi funk says:

    you also might die drinking beer from a milk carton.

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  5. Dr J says:

    The point is there is no place safe for people to walk that is not a road (shared with cars) – I suspect areas with sidewalks have far lower deaths due to “drunk walking” than areas without – your “drunk walking” analysis completely overlooks this variable – and it is the most likely explanation for why you see a high death rate per mile for drunk walking – it is because large areas of the US have no sidewalks – compare druink walking deaths in urban areas to rural and suburban areas – I know personally two who were killed by drivers because there was no sidewalk – is this too much to ask…

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  6. Dr J says:

    oh I get it – the reason why the authors have not looked into the drunk walking fatality rate in areas with and without sidewalks is because their libertairian ideoogy is inconsistent with an analysis with favors putting sidewalks in suburban areas, such that people can actually walk to a pub or market without driving – plus saying it drunk walking is dangerous is a great soundbite, hey it sells books!

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  7. Steve says:

    Why can’t they sell beer in milk cartons in the US? I want one!

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  8. Jan says:

    Now people, this is South Africa where we look at life from a practical point of view. Several solutions to this problem are right there in the photo. First you can stay home and use the money to the right of the milk/bear carton to pay for the electricity at the “pay as you go” box on the far wall so you can watch the DVD to the left in the photo. Or if you feel adventurous you can use the car keys to the right in the photo to go run down another walking drunk.

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