No Two Drinks are the Same

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When I tell people that I live in New Orleans, they immediately share how much they love its food, people, and the culture. It’s certainly a city like no other and one that can charm one forever.

In 2000, when I first moved there for graduate school, I worked at a popular bar downtown both bartending and waitressing. No, the story doesn’t go boy meets girl at the bar, although I know many people that have met their significant others that way, my boy often came to the bar to make sure I got home safely.

While I didn’t drink while working, his concern was always about the other people who did drink and left the bar at the same time I headed home. I would often ask my customers if I could call them a cab, and they would always reply “I only had one drink” or “I’ve only had two drinks all night.” And on occasion, I’d follow my manager as he drove a regular client home at the end of the night.

I’d often have the discussion that it’s not about the “one drink rule” or “x amount of drinks over x amount of time” since I know that alcohol is metabolized differently in individuals, men also differently than women, and it’s based on the size of a particular person, not the drink itself.

I’ve recently learned about the Foundation of Advancing Alcohol’s,’s‘, new app called The Virtual Bar, which is available in both Spanish and English. With the app, now you can track your blood alcohol level (BAC) before having a second glass of wine.

I know you are probably wondering “why would I need to calculate my BAC now that I’m married and have kids?” I think it’s more important than ever that we get home safely in one piece for our kids, and the app can help determine an approximate BAC level and how long it will take to come back down to a safe level.

The Virtual Bar app can also be used as a tool to talk with our teens and those going away to college as well. It can be used to help break the ice and ask your older kids what they think is a fair amount of alcohol to drink in a time frame and teach them about how eating food can affect their levels and how keeping up with their friends isn’t always the best idea.

Now while my bartending days are over, I still feel like it’s my responsibility to talk to my kids early about alcohol. And with resources like’s Virtual Bar App and the #TalkEarly program, it’s not as hard to navigate these difficult conversations with my kids.


January 18, 2017

3 thoughts on “No Two Drinks are the Same”

  1. Betty says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Laura! I bartended through college in Austin and I can’t tell you how many people went home drunk. At the time, I thought it was irresponsible but something people did. Now that I’m a mom of 4 kids I am afraid to drive late at night because of other people on the road. Call me paranoid but people really do drink and drive and it scares me!

  2. Jennifer says:

    My cousin was killed in a drunk driving accident after he left a house party with “one too many” and left irresponsibly. While he didn’t hit or kill anyone else on the road, our entire family stopped drinking after that. Thanks for talking about how to talk about alcohol. Makes me sick how hush hush this society is about that.

  3. Jessi F says:

    I always love reading your stories Laura. Thanks for sharing about the Virtual Bar App.

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