There are over 5 million people in California with German heritage. Therefore it is no surprise that the celebration of German culture, heritage, traditions and, most importantly, beer, has become quite popular throughout California. In fact, I have gone to a few myself and had a great time. However, the very nature of a “celebration of beer” is the perfect storm for drivers to drink too much and get behind the wheel.
Before your toss back a few steins of beer, make sure to fill your stomach with fine Bavarian cuisine like pretzels, bratwurst, and potatoes. Remember that food slows the absorption rate of alcohol in the body. Studies have shown that the larger the meal and the closer in time between eating and drinking creates a larger reduction of peak alcohol intoxication. Don’t be shy with the sauerkraut.
And you can be sure that there will be a saturation of law enforcement patrols in the immediate vicinity of the various Oktoberfest celebrations throughout the state. Also remember that it is perfectly legal for law enforcement to park themselves outside of the festival looking for would be drunk drivers. Although law enforcement needs to see you commit a traffic violation or have reasonable suspicion that a crime took place, you can be sure that they’ll be looking for something.
Find someone to be the designated Bavarian driver, use a taxi, or take advantage of public transportation. Let’s face it, it would be really embarrassing to be arrested while wearing lederhosen.