Footage of Americans in 80s show their insane reactions to new laws banning drinking and driving

Daisy Phillipson

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Footage of Americans in 80s show their insane reactions to new laws banning drinking and driving

Featured Image Credit: @cali_nostalgia/TikTok

Footage of Americans in the 80s has left viewers baffled as it shows the outrageous reactions to news at the time that tightened up laws on drink driving.

Now, we should point out that drinking and driving first became outlawed in 1910 by the state of New York, closely followed by California before the rest of America took on the decision.

However, restrictions have continued to shift and evolve over the years, with an update in the 1980s when the legal alcohol limit went from 0.15% to 0.10%.

It's safe to say a lot of people didn't take too kindly to the news, with some confusing health and safety with politics.


In a now-viral clip shared by TikTok page California Nostalgia, a news reporter explains that any attempt to restrict drinking and driving is viewed by locals as being 'downright undemocratic'.

The segment then cuts to vox pops with the public, with one man saying: "It's kind of getting communist when a fella can't put in a hard day's work, put in 11 to 12 hours a day, and then get in your truck and at least drink one or two beers."

In the next clip, a woman who is sat in the car next to her baby says: "They're making laws where you can't drink when you want to, you have to wear a seatbelt when you're driving.

"Pretty soon we're going to be a communist country."

As we all know, the US hasn't turned into a communist country as a result of its stricter motor safety laws, although it has managed to dramatically reduce the number of deaths on the road.

According to the latest statistics, across the entire decade of the 1980s, there were 22.3 deaths by motor vehicle-related injuries per 100,000, as opposed to 11.7 in 2020.

Thousands of people have commented on the clip, with many pointing out how times have changed.

As said by one: “I remember reading about a motorcycle drivers protesting helmets in New York…

“In the middle of the protest drive one guy got in an accident and died. They said he would’ve lived if he had a helmet on.”

People didn't take to kindly to the stricter laws back then. Credit: @cali_nostalgia/TikTok
People didn't take to kindly to the stricter laws back then. Credit: @cali_nostalgia/TikTok

Another wrote: “I'm a child of the 70s. My Uncle was Highway Patrol. In grade school I'd ride in the front seat, no seat belt, and he'd drink tall boys all day.”

A third, who shared their story highlighting the damage caused by drunk driving, said: "When my dad was hit and killed on his motorcycle by a drunk driver, there were hardly any consequences for him.

“He paid us a tiny settlement and was free. He was so drunk that he ‘didn’t see’ my dad, mind you this was during a ride for Sight (fundraiser for cancer and other eye diseases) and there were at least 10 other bikes on the road.

“Never saw any jail time, never even was arrested. He never thought that drinking and driving was illegal or harmful.

“This was 1996, two days before my dad’s 30th birthday. But wearing seatbelts and driving sober = communism.”

Clearly, stricter laws on road safety are to benefit drivers, which is what makes this video even more shocking to watch.

Topics: Community, US News, Cars, Viral

Daisy Phillipson
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