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Thread: Smell of alcohol at the range. What do?

  1. #1
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Smell of alcohol at the range. What do?

    My partner said she smelled a guy at the indoor range last time we went who reeked of alcohol. I told her next time to tell me and I'd tell the owner/range master. I already think it's a bit dangerous at a multi-lane range with thin partitions separating us. No way I want to be to the left of anyone who has been drinking.

    Should I just MMOB and leave or what?

  2. #2
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    Thats one of those things, IT IS YOUR BUSINESS. His actions can affect you, I would have snitched.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    I belong to a private club here with a very nice indoor range, one of the few left in the county, and one of even fewer left in the Cuyahoga County Pistol League.

    A few years ago, a doctor joined the club. One night during open shooting, the range officer noticed him acting strangely, and started keeping an eye on him. At one point the doctor actually dropped his firearm on the floor. The range officer intervened and detected a heavy smell of alcohol on the individual. He disarmed him, called a cab and sent him home in it. He then called a board member. There was an immediate emergency BoD meeting, at which the doctor was expelled and a resolution passed to refund his dues.

    Not too much later, there was a story on the local Cleveland TV news. It seems that a doctor was found passed out drunk by the side of I-90, a loaded handgun (and no CHL) in the car with him. Guess who the doctor was...

    Most REALLY stupid gun related incidents involve the consumption of alcohol. Don't let an irresponsible drunk shoot you or some innocent third party. Don't let him get your range shut down. There aren't that many of them anymore, at least around here.

  4. #4
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Absolutely a manager or employee should be told. Maybe the police, since in most places I know of carrying while under the influence is a crime. (Some places require a specific BAC.)

    But should I, the person noticing the odor of alcohol, do anything directly?
    Or should I wait for the employee as backup, or be his backup (stand nearby as witness)?

    If the person just smells & isn't doing anything I can see that's dangerous, I'll go for an employee.
    If s/he is doing something dangerous (dropping the gun, pointing it not downrange) I'll step in myself.
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    Regular Member rotorhead's Avatar
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    Personally I'd pack my stuff up and let the range operator know why I'm leaving and that I'll be back in an hour or two when the matter was resolved. I'm not sticking around to argue with an armed drunk.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    OK, thanks for the input. After additional questioning I learned that she smelled this guy (who was reeking of hard liquor, she said) as we were leaving. I asked her to alert me in the future if it should happen again. Since we're friendly with the owner, I know he'd appreciate a heads up and he can decide for himself if it's actionable.

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    Regular Member bom1911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deanimator View Post

    Guess who the doctor was...
    Dr. Kevorkian?

  8. #8
    Regular Member zekester's Avatar
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    I am not advocating being "drunk" and having a weapon, we all know this could lead to who knows what, and here comes the BUT....unless you are obviously plastered, a few beers...IMHO...can't lead to much...can it...

    Out of all the members on here....please someone tell me that they had a few too many and just went and shot up the place.

    Again not advocating, and I know it is irresposible, but even "leaglly" drunk..don't I have the same rights as you, to protect myself?

    I realize this is at a range, but it very well could be at your friends house.

    Just saying
    Last edited by zekester; 05-01-2011 at 10:37 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zekester View Post
    I am not advocating being "drunk" and having a weapon, we all know this could lead to who knows what, and here comes the BUT....unless you are obviously plastered, a few beers...IMHO...can't lead to much...can it...

    Out of all the members on here....please someone tell me that they had a few too many and just went and shot up the place.

    Again not advocating, and I know it is irresposible, but even "leaglly" drunk..don't I have the same rights as you, to protect myself?

    I realize this is at a range, but it very well could be at your friends house.

    Just saying
    Are you also ok with people drinking and driving? And would you feel ok with either situation if it was one of your family members killed in an accident?

  10. #10
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Zekester:

    It depends. I don't drink at all, so one beer makes me tipsy. Back in my post-college days, I could drink a six and only feel it quenched my thirst. (amazing organ, the Liver)

    As you might have seen in some testing they had on TV people were hitting pylons and missing turns after only a couple drinks and were shocked at how impaired they really were.

    So, I'd say a half a beer if you're thirsty isn't going to affect your actions at the range, but people are just not responsible anyway, so it makes sense to say NO alcohol while shooting. I don't think it has any bearing on if you were drunk when you had to do a SD (righteous) shoot - of course drunken idiots have a right to protect themselves.

    To take the high road, note how your behavior has moderated due to responsibly carrying a HG. You're more polite, less likely to road rage. Why not add on 'less likely to drink and hang out at bars at night"? It's a self-limiting thing. If you're not out at bars hanging one on, you won't be in a situation where you need to pull your HG in the parking lot.

    $.02

  11. #11
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohawk001 View Post
    Are you also ok with people drinking and driving? And would you feel ok with either situation if it was one of your family members killed in an accident?
    It continually amazes me at how tolerant we are of drinking/getting drunk and operating dangerous machinery. If alcohol were a new drug/intoxicant it would NEVER get legalized. 'Yo, FDA, we have this cool drink that will cause thousands of deaths on the highway and in hospitals of liver failure. Can we has?'

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    Regular Member zekester's Avatar
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    I must reiterate....I do not advocate, achohol and guns, nor do I advocate drinking and driving, But have a few beers and being "leagally" intoxicated is not neccessarly an alarm.

    My city, if in "possession" of a weapon while intoxicated is against the law...You do not have to carry it...just have possession of it...

    I am having a party, and lets say it gets to loud...neighbor calls ....now I would never let the LEO in my place without a warrant, but if I have a weapon and I am drunk...felony!!!

    Doesn't matter if it is my closet...under my bed or on my hip...possession...going to jail.
    Last edited by zekester; 05-01-2011 at 12:29 PM.
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  13. #13
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zekester View Post
    I must reiterate....I do not advocate, achohol and guns, nor do I advoctate drinking and driving, But have a few beers and being "leagally" intoxicated is not neccessarly an alarm.
    On the contrary. I think it's best to have a 'no alcohol' policy while carrying (or driving). It's been proven that we are poor judges of how impaired we are.

    Let's say you have a 'few' beers, and someone smells your breath and you 'print' unintentionally. They now have cause to call the LEOs on you. Not a good idea. You might have only had a mouthful of a friend's martini and still have the smell on your breath.
    Last edited by Badger Johnson; 05-01-2011 at 12:24 PM.

  14. #14
    Regular Member zekester's Avatar
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    So your are saying, because i drink...I have given up my right to protect myself?

    Drunk or not, I think responsible gun owners will do what is right,,,,If not...they will be found out and not have
    a gun.
    Last edited by zekester; 05-01-2011 at 12:42 PM.
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  15. #15
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Huh? Not at all. Just be reasonable about where and when you drink. Realize that IF you drink in public you set yourself up for problems. You could be more impaired than you think, you might be in a 'shady' part of town (after all, bars, right?), you might get printed and seen with a beer, which, if cops are called is bad news, right?

    I'd suggest taking off the gun, maybe even unloading, and drinking at home but not to excess.

    Definitely don't drink alcohol before going shooting. You might not be drunk but still smell and if someone at the range objects you could be in trouble, "legally under the limit" or not.

    Be aware that even a little alcohol consumption, followed by a righteous SD shooting can taint your evidence. After all most times people get charged they have to prove the shoot was legit. Why make this harder?

    To put even a better point on it, many SD shootings are done when you are impaired - you're awoken by a BG in your room, it's dark, you don't have time to adequately size up the situation. You need all the clarity you can muster.

    $.02

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    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    Some people get plain stupid or get aggressive after only a few drinks. When they have even more, they really get stupid and/or aggressive. This is the type of person who shouldn't be drinking in public or even at all, but generally no one points the problem out to them when they are sober, or they are alcoholics ( and therefore trying to point this out to them does nothing). By alcoholic, it can be someone who must have that pint of beer every night, or feel they have to have 2-3 glasses of wine every night. Alcoholic does not simply mean the person who is never sober, or who drinks rubbing alcohol when they can't get anything else, or who is passed out in a gutter every night.

    The person who gets stupid and/or aggressive after drinking, is the last person who should be carrying a gun ( or driving a car). If such a person wants that 2A right, then they should refrain from drinking if they know how stupid and/or aggressive they get. Stupid and aggressive drunks are akin to someone with a severe mental illness while they are intoxicated. It is basically like having a violent psychotic episode. Someone says the "wrong" thing, or any manner of things gets them going.

  17. #17
    Regular Member gsx1138's Avatar
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    Good luck with your defense when you claim self defense and the cops smell alcohol on your breath.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsx1138 View Post
    Good luck with your defense when you claim self defense and the cops smell alcohol on your breath.
    A justified self defense shooting is justified whether the shooter is Carrie Nation, or Otis the Drunk.

    As to the OP, I would treat the person exactly like every other person at the range: watch for any dangerous behavior and respond to that, not an odor.

  19. #19
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    If it was whiskey, I'd ask if he has anymore!

    You cannot judge a odor. What if he spilt some on his clothes earlier in the day from the fridge? What if he was diabetic? Even I smelled like beer from a bar even tho I have not had any.

    I agree with the others. You have a right to defend yourself. Dont see a clause in the 2A that says 'unless you consume' you have no right to self defence. BG might think its easy to roll a guy that had a few beers. I carry when I drink, esp when out of town. Alot of the time if I 'feel' drunk i will go put it in the truck. If I'm on the bike, the gun is on me. Unless I'm in Sturgis, then it left at camp. When the whiskey hits me, I get all lovey anyway.

  20. #20
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    We're talking about alcohol smell at a RANGE, not on the street or SD.

    The rule is NO alcohol and shooting, and NEVER point your HG at anything you don't wish to destroy. It's not 'when you feel like it'. Packing, being jovial, putting HG in the car are all not part of the original question, but thanks for those opinions.

    I'd hope we'd all use the heightened responsibility that HG use entails to clean up the act and be over-all safer, more polite and have a more courteous and better society.

    HTH

  21. #21
    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    IMO it is your business if he is comprimising your safety and that of other shooters. No different than drinking and driving.

    Solution ? 911 Let LEO determine the FACTS and act appropriately. It became your business when this man came out of his house into public.

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