The climate today is much different. Drinking is taboo; choir practice is frowned upon. Police departments and agencies have strict policies in force that leave little tolerance, if any, for anyone suspected of having alcohol in their system. The zero tolerance policy is clear - ignore it at your own risk. The only problem, however, is that life goes on. The things that drove some of us to drown our sorrows in booze still exist. Adultery, divorce, layoffs, salaries, problems with children... still plague many of us, but hopefully we've learned to turn down a different road looking for solutions.
Police chaplains, employee assistance programs, confidential rehab, debt counseling, etc., are the paths we need to follow. No one has ever found answers at the bottom of a bottle. The only thing you'll find there is the bottom, and that's not a good place to be. Enjoy a drink now and then. Celebrate with friends and family on holidays and special occasions. But know when to draw the line. There are no more safe havens on the job for drinkers, and no one will help you hide your problem. Know your department's alcohol policy. If you do have a problem, get help. No good can come from alcohol abuse. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to be on top of your game each time you report for duty. Don't take any chances - you're too important to all of us.
Stay safe, brothers and sisters.