Sure, the consequences aren't as serious as drunk driving. No one ever wrapped their dad's Buick around a tree while overindulging during dinner. But drunk dining is a serious offense in the restaurant world, and, while jail time and death aren't likely results, it does offer the opportunity for humiliation galore.
As your server I want you to enjoy a drink (or two or three) with your meal. It loosens you up, makes you more fun to interact with, sets off the food you're eating and increases the tip. But if you don't know your limits, you're liable to end up a cautionary tale.
Take this case. We'll call our offender Johnnie, because that's what he was drinking: Johnnie Walker Blue, and lots of it. This was great for the bartender, because at around $25 a drink, Johnnie was ringing up a healthy tab. Little did our bartender know Johnnie had already rung up a healthy tab at another bar before he wandered into ours.
By his fourth cocktail Johnny was draping his arms over the shoulders of other guests, shouting obscenities that would make a sailor blush and generally being a less than desirable presence. When the bartender decided to cut him off, Johnnie demanded to speak to a manager. And when not one but two managers let Johnnie know they supported their bartender's decision, Johnnie threw a punch. He missed, spun around in a circle and ended up in a heap on the marble floor. Two of our hardier servers hauled him outside--into the waiting police car.
Violence is never the answer. But that's not the only risk associated with drunk dining.
Our second offender, whom we'll call Carrie Bradshaw, had a pronounced fondness for cosmopolitans. She also weighed about 95 pounds soaking wet. By the time Carrie was halfway through her second cosmo, she was alternately nodding off at the dinner table and giggling flirtatiously with any male staff member who walked by. At one point her hand found its way to a busser's bottom and delivered a lusty pinch. The busser found a manager, but by the time they got back to the table, Carrie was gone. We found her a few minutes later face down on the bathroom floor in a puddle of predigested cosmopolitans.
Suffice to say that Carrie didn't get the busser's phone number.
So please, have a cocktail at the bar while you wait for your table. Enjoy a fantastic pinot noir with your dinner. Finish up with a Baileys and coffee. Whatever libation floats your boat. But for the love of gin, know your own limits. Nothing ends a good meal more quickly, or on a more sour note, than ending up like Johnnie or Carrie.