Liquor in coach

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by New to Amtrak, Jan 27, 2015.

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  1. Jan 28, 2015 #26

    andersone

    andersone

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    Father used to say there were four men in the world you could trust

    Jim Beam

    Jack Daniels

    George Dickle

    and himself
     
  2. Jan 28, 2015 #27

    cirdan

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    I'm in the fortunate position that too much alcohol makes me sleepy and not beligerent. So I can drink one more than's good for me without having to fear making a fool of myself. (but I still fear the headache the next morning)

    But I have many times prevented friends I was travelling with from going too far.
     
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  3. Jan 28, 2015 #28

    FormerOBS

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    I think Amtrak's position boils down to liability and the ability to keep a situation from getting out of hand. After all, Amtrak is primarily a transportation medium; not a bar. If Amtrak sold the liquor, then it's understood that Amtrak has a certain amount of responsibility. That is, they have to check I.D., pay attention to situations where a legal buyer may be giving the liquor to others, watch to see that nobody is imbibing too much, etc.; and if the situation does get out of hand, Amtrak has to respond appropriately.

    If the liquor is brought from outside, Amtrak has no ability to monitor the situation closely, and Amtrak has a lessened ability to take appropriate action. In our litigious society, Amtrak could still be held responsible for the consequences of a passenger's drinking if a claimant finds a sympathetic court.

    If this happens in a private room, it generally doesn't have a serious effect on other passengers; in an open coach, many (if not most) of the passengers in that car will be inconvenienced. No matter whether the passenger is in coach or sleeper, he can be put off the train if his behavior is reasonably perceived as a threat or an inconvenience to others (passengers or crew).

    In actual practice, I have seen many situations that were defused without resort to the extreme measure of removing the passenger. On the A-Train, the consequences are more serious and problematic than on other trains: The passenger is put off, but his motor vehicle can't be unloaded until arrival at the train's destination. I've seen that happen, but it's rare.

    I understand some people's questioning of rules. I do that myself sometimes. But sometimes it's just better to accept the rules and comply. There are much more important issues to argue over.

    Tom
     
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  4. Jan 28, 2015 #29

    BCL

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    Even those who aren't necessarily belligerent can do things like vomit when they're sick from the alcohol. I was talking to a commuter train conductor on a system that allows personal consumption of alcohol. He was joking that stainless steel vestibules are easier to clean up. I've seen groups bringing 12-packs of beer. I've heard about groups with a bottle of tequila just downing shot after shot. However, they do have exceptions for "event days" where they feel it might get out of hand because of the sheer number of passengers who might get drunk.
     
  5. Jan 28, 2015 #30

    FormerOBS

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    I wasn't going to mention the puke. :)
     
  6. Jan 28, 2015 #31

    caravanman

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    I think folk should control their own lives, and take responsibility for doing that, including how much they drink... The train is meant to be a "family environment" suitable for children too, so everyday normal standards of behaviour and respect for others should be the benchmark, methinks.

    A discrete drink or two will pass unremarked, getting steaming drunk in any public place is never going to end well.

    Yep, we Brits love our "nanny state", where we can travel as we please, no I.D, and thinking for yourself is not a crime...

    Ed :cool:
     
  7. Jan 28, 2015 #32

    Bob Dylan

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    For a perfect example of drunks on the train, ride with Raider Nation before or after Oakland Raider Games like we experienced on the way to/from San Jose during the Gathering in Oct.
     
  8. Jan 28, 2015 #33

    Rail Freak

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    Amen!!!!!
     
  9. Jan 28, 2015 #34

    fillyjonk

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    Really, it kind of boils down to "don't be a jerk." I traveled coach back before they were so restrictive about booze....I remember a very delayed train (bad weather) one December, the guys behind me had a bottle of Jack Daniels they emptied in rather short order. They got louder and "friendlier" (in ways I don't want someone being friendly with me) as time wore on.

    I finally wound up going and sitting in the lounge car, under the watchful eye of the lounge car attendant, for the rest of the trip just to avoid them.

    Now, if someone had a little flask or something, and just took a limited amount, fine. But I'm too old and too grumpy to want to sit through a frat party on rails.

    (I get a roomette, now. I will say once the people a couple roomettes down, the SCA had to come and tell them to be a bit less "obvious" about their partying and to close the door. The hall smelled of alcohol by that time....)
     
  10. Jan 28, 2015 #35

    me_little_me

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    You left out the biggest: lawyers

    Amtrak can get sued if you consume too much then something happens and they served it. So if you hide the six additional drinks after buying one, the lawyesr will claim Amtrak must have served them.

    People will sue Amtrak when a drunk on the train does something even if Amtrak didn't serve the liquor.

    The drunk will sue Amtrak for "letting" him get drunk and not finding his alcohol and stopping him from consuming it.

    A teenager's parents who let someone give him a drink will sue Amtrak.

    The difference between US and European "nanny" rules is that the Europeans are trying to protect you from yourself whereas in the US they are trying to protect themselves from you and your lawyer.
     
  11. Jan 28, 2015 #36

    Devil's Advocate

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    Do you have evidence of such lawsuits or is this more of an assumption on your part?

    How did you come to that conclusion?
     
  12. Jan 28, 2015 #37

    tp49

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    No, he mentioned the liability issue in a subsequent post, which I would agree is the force behind the rule.
     
  13. Jan 29, 2015 #38

    FormerOBS

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    Within Amtrak, whenever the subject is discussed it's generally assumed that the Company's policies are heavily influenced by the opinions of Amtrak's legal department. I don't know for sure whether these issues have actually come up in court, but the fact that Amtrak's lawyers don't want to have to go to court over them is good enough for me. I understand there was at least one parent who sued because someone gave their child liquor. I don't know the outcome of that case.

    Tom
     
  14. Jan 29, 2015 #39

    me_little_me

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    I learned what sarcasm meant.
     
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  15. Jan 29, 2015 #40

    andersone

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    and of course we don't have a sarcasm font,,,,,,
     
  16. Jan 29, 2015 #41

    iggy

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    "Don't be drunk and obnoxious, though, or they will kick you off the train."

    Rarely seen this happen - very rarely seen anyone warned about being to intoxicated and go sleep it off etc.

    "In theory its a safety measure by retaining control over additional servings. In reality Amtrak will sell you enough liquor to put a horse to sleep."

    I've seen this scenario play out often. Most recently - Lincoln Service Business Class - a young couple heading to St Louis was putting beer away at a very fast rate between Joliet and Springfield IL - with no signs of stopping. Man could still walk when I deboarded. But no one was limiting amount consumed. I've seen one attendant recently state coach passenger could only have one at a time - but could purchase multiple and she would put them aside for passenger.
     
  17. Jan 29, 2015 #42

    zephyr17

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    I've actually seen drunk and obnoxious folks put off the train on several occasions. Not on corridor trains like the Cascades (which I ride) or Lincoln Service, but on the long distance trains I've seen it with some regularity.

    The person has usually gotten far up on the obnoxious scale, and is often put into the hands of the local PD at some grade crossing which the conductor has coordinated with the dispatcher. So occasionally those "Conductor to the IC" announcements over the PA are to handle the drunks.

    I always wonder what goes through the head of the person when they wake up the next morning in the hands of the Oakridge, OR Police.

    Most conductors seem quite serious about maintaining the "family atmosphere." On my last trip on the Empire Builder in December, the conductor announced that if a certain individual kept swearing, he'd be put off at the next stop.
     
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  18. Jan 29, 2015 #43

    BCL

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    Remember the notorious cell phone talker put off and arrested in Oregon? Nearly 17 hours straight and wouldn't shut up even once warned that people were sleeping.
     
  19. Jan 30, 2015 #44

    Meat Puppet

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  20. Jan 30, 2015 #45

    VentureForth

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    I don't think that drinking from a shampoo bottle would really be, well, discreet? If I saw someone drinking "shampoo", I'd think they needed more than just the local PD.

    Not to mention, these are pretty dumb. It only takes a half-conscious cruise employee to recognize a non brand then shake the bottle to see if the viscosity is right or not. Or am I giving those guys way too much credit?

    Rum Running on a cruise is completely different than drinking on a train. On most cruise lines, it's expressly prohibited to bring your own alcohol onboard to drink in your own private stateroom. Yes, some allow a couple bottles of wine to be opened by a crew member who charges the going price of a bottle of wine for the service, but that's the exception, not the norm.

    Again, the cruise industry KNOWS that many (not all!) people cruise specifically to get drunk and their business model takes that into heavy consideration.

    My daughter has seen someone ejected from the Palmetto, and on the Carolinian, I wished a couple of folks would be booted. I take the train for peace and transit, not for party housing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2015
  21. Feb 8, 2015 #46

    Yampa Valley Mail

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    Best drunk train is the River Runner east from Hermon MO on a Saturday eve during October fest at the winery 's. The one's that are still able to drink are doing it openly and making all kinds of noise all under the eye of a local law enforcement officer in each car. Makes for great people watching.
     
  22. Feb 8, 2015 #47

    firstcultural

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    Two pints of bourbon though?
     

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