New Mexico DOT to Servers: Go Ahead, Be a Buzzkill

Nothing’s worse than being told that you’re a buzzkill. Party pooper. Debbie Downer. Wet blanket. Killjoy.

People go out of their way to keep from being the one to harsh the collective mellow. Unfortunately, that can mean letting people drink too much, and then drive away, endangering others. Too many people have been killed and injured because someone didn’t want to be the one to tell someone else to stop drinking, or to ease away the car keys before the evening came to a close.

Bartenders and other servers are one line of defense against drunk drivers. These stalwart souls can be relied on to look for the signals of impairment and cut off customers before they pose a danger to themselves or others. It doesn’t make them popular, but that’s not their job. They’re paid to be a buzzkill if necessary, as this new campaign from NMDOT illustrates.

It’s a good approach: make the unpopular aspect of a server’s job a source of professional pride.  “We look out for problem drinkers so you don’t have to” could be the motto here, and it’s now part of the landscape of state liquor regulations all over the country, as states debate how much liability a tavern or restaurant should have if a patron is injured, or injures someone, as a result of alcohol consumed on the premises.

That’s a discussion for another time. Right now we salute NMDOT’s Buzzkill campaign, part of the organization’s ENDUI initiative, which promotes designated drivers, safe rides and responsible consumption with the ultimate goal of ending drunk driving in New Mexico.