Yes, indirectly, they can.
Updated: Feb 1, 2020
That’s because they encourage people to drink beers at places from where they’ll likely drive home afterwards. Yes, celebrate with friends and then drive home.
The ads make such drinking look “cool,” fun, and A-OK. Yes, like it’s a wonderful bit of chumminess to enjoy.
The sales pitch is: Our beers are “light.” They contain less alcohol and calories. So, that makes you think drinking them is safer and better for your waistline. Thus, you’re much less cautious about how many “lights” you gulp down in your celebrating. So, you actually drink more.
But the harsh reality is: “lights” are still alcoholic beverages. And when you drive home you could be impaired because you drank too many. You had you relied too much on that word “light.”
So, this raises the question: How many of those who drive the wrong way on a freeway, plow through red lights, run stop signs, rear end other cars, and kill innocent others and maybe themselves, had been downing light beers? They had been influenced by TV ads. So, after work or following something to celebrate, they had thought “This is soooooo cool to quaff these cool light beers with my good friends.”
Sure, they should have had Uber, Lyft, or a taxi take them home. But that would have involved leaving their cars and then having to be brought back the next day to retrieve them. That’s a pain. So, no wonder it’s seldom done.
Then, how about this unexpected cost to even downing a single light beer. Say after work that’s all you had with your pals, just one. And in driving home, you’re involved in some kind of an accident, that’s not your fault. And when the officer asks if you if you had had anything to drink, you tell the truth. “Yes, Sir, one light beer.” But, per the officer’s report, that one beer was one too many. The report, without directly saying so, implicitly brands you at fault, because you had been drinking.
Again, this, despite the fact that the other driver was really at fault. And that one “light” you had in no way affected your driving.
Then, later when you tell that to your insurance company’s claims adjuster, she courteously listens and asks routine questions. But she gives you no clue if she agrees with you that you were not at fault. As to that, she says nary a word.
Then a week or two later you get a notice from the insurance company that the other driver has filed a claim against you for X dollars. And three weeks or so after that, you get another notice that the company has negotiated with that driver and agreed to pay an amount in your behalf.
And to top things off, six months later you get your next policy renewal notice. Your premium has been substantially increased. So, at this point, it sinks in.
Yes, exactly what that one light beer you drank in comradery with buddies has cost you. You now appear in insurance data bases as someone who had an accident after drinking. That record will haunt you. As a result, insurance will always cost you more than it does someone not so sullied.
Ugh! Not fair!
In sum, it’s absolutely outrageous that beer companies with TV ads can entice people to get together at places away from their homes and drink beers. And that these companies do this knowing full well that most people after such celebrating will likely drive cars home.
To save lives, such ads should be banned by law.
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